Sunday, August 8, 2010

Renew My Meekness

A bitter gourd
One thing I strive to teach my children is to let go of bitterness.  It's like a poison -- it holds us back and prevents us from growing and accomplishing all we can. 

In early 2004 I was attending a morning Gospel study course on the New Testament.  At the start of the course I felt quite 'full of myself'.  In my mind (at the time) it went like this:

Attend church 100%                  check
Pay a full tithe                            check
Fulfill Calling                              check
Fulfill Civil Duties                      check
Help the Poor                             check
Hold Family Prayer                    check
Hold Family Gospel Study         check
Visit my sisters in the church     check

I felt good about who I was and how I was.  But then our teacher began to elaborate more of the personality and life of the Savior.  As we studied the Sermon on the Mount and other examples, I felt my checklist crumble into nothingness as well as my self esteem.  

What was all this 'Turn the Other Cheek' business?  And 'Judge Not' business?  Pray for your enemies?  I had heard these lessons a hundred times before, but that particular morning changed my life around.  These were not things that I could put on a check-list and tic off.  These things were hard...and many times uncomfortable. They required far more 'Christ-hood'.

I learned of the meekness of Christ.  To me, (at the time) meekness meant 'weakness'.  A kind of giving in to those stronger and perhaps more intelligent then yourself.  But by the end of this class, I came to understand that meekness is an essential quality of divinity.  It is the ability to see past emotion and take a higher road into least this is how it stands in my mind.
A year later I found myself going through the extreme difficulty of divorce.  One day as I sat in church I took a good look around me.  There was a teenage girl giving a talk at the pulpit, the Bishop and his councilors sitting behind her, others like me who were struggling.  My eyes settled on individuals who I knew had certain addictions and I caught myself as I wondered why they even came to church.  

I was feeling bitter and annoyed.  The lesson came back to me and I closed my eyes and let all the judgments leave my heart.  I especially let the unkind, unfair judgments I felt others had of me leave.  I scribbled down my thoughts that day and it ended up with the poem below:

 Renew My Meekness

A simple bench, a humble pulpit
'Mongst men of plain imperfectness
Such was a stable, strong and able
To hold the Savior in it's mist.

Oh renew, renew my meekness
Soft testimony conquers doubt
Grand words of wisdom, doth reflect from
Lips of ordinary mouths.

A fallen man, a broken sister
Harsh words from eyes, impure remark
To be a judge, you must have love
Remember who hath made their hearts.

Yes renew, renew my meekness
For these eyes are young and blind
The whole need not a physician
Let us come and be refined.

A wealthy world, a life of greatness
In charity, thou gave discreet
Can I tame my need for gain?
In giving make, my soul complete.

Oh renew, renew my meekness
Thy Majesty, I will hold dear
For the diamonds of the righteous
Are found in full and glistening tears.

 Cruel enemies, seeds of oppression
Divides my heart, and cuts so deep
Can I pray for you today?
Can I turn the other cheek?
Please renew, renew my meekness
How I feel so far behind
Beside the tares, my roots will weaken
Help me grow, to be divine!

~ Chimene Kirkpatrick

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