What Will Draw Us Together?
by Mark Votava
I find that humility is one of the most uncommon traits to live by in the twenty-first century. There is so much talk these days of theology, but where is the humility in it all. Humility is the embodiment of love and life. Humility is a manifestation of our true self.
In my own experience, I am coming to see how important humility is to community. Without community, there is really no need for humility. And maybe that is why humility is so rare in our time because community is hard to find in a world of individualism. Our individualism masks over our brokenness leaving us dishonest, distracted and arrogant a lot of the time.
Did the life of Jesus demonstrate brokenness and humility or did it represent power and wealth? I think a lot of us would like to think that Jesus represented power and wealth, but this is not true. Jesus came to us representing compassion, vulnerability, humility, brokenness and a nonjudgmental spirituality. Jesus lived in a particular place in community with others as this shaped him throughout his entire life.
A life of individualism forsakes the embodiment of community, humility, love and the deep bonds that draw us together in everyday life. The humility of Jesus is what I am being called to as I struggle with my own woundedness, brokenness and pride. I find myself asking the question, “Where is the humility of love within me?” It is always present within me, but is sometimes hard to find because I bury it with my individualistic pride which narrows my scope on life to blindness and arrogance.
- Christ’s whole life was a demonstration of humility
The birth, life and death of Jesus all demonstrate his brokenness in multiple ways. He was poor, unrecognizable, rejected, persecuted, suffered pain, came from the most unlikely of places. Christ’s whole life was a demonstration of humility and brokenness.
- Our perceived perceptions
Most of us probably would not have recognized Jesus in his day if we saw him. He was too common and too broken to be recognized. Our preconceived perceptions sometimes want Christ to be something he is not.
- Unfamiliar to our Western forms of spirituality
He most likely would not fit our picture of a good American. He was too weak for that. His brokenness and humility are unfamiliar to our Western forms of spirituality.
- Discovering life through our brokenness together
As we embrace humility and authenticity toward one another, we begin to grasp the communal imagination. Our imaginations become stirred with new ways to live out the gospel in our relationships with one another in the parish. We begin to discover life through our brokenness together.
- Taking on a humility that connects us relationally
We start helping others through the pain of living. We take on a humility that connects us relationally.
- We are all wounded
June Ellis, who embraced a Quaker spirituality of authenticity says: “We are all wounded; we all feel inadequate and ashamed; we all struggle. But this is part of the human condition; it draws us together, helps us to find our connectedness.”
Do you think that our woundedness and struggles throughout life draw us together or apart?