A Lenten Lesson in Humility

It’s that time of the year again. For those of us who are on the Nineveh 90 challenge, we began Lent-like practices back in February.

God is so good at giving us what we need to grow in holiness even though we might not have selected the means He uses. How loving that God choses a path so unique to each and every one of us. I write that both tongue and cheek and in reality.

An added Lenten bonus this year for me is the fact I had surgery last week. Can we say, C-R-A-Z-Y! With any surgically invasive procedure there comes all the joys of having strangers in your business, and an element of exposure that’s usually only reserved for our spouse and maybe not even then. So very many opportunities for growth in humility.

Anyone who has had surgery and been given the prerequisite narcotics for pain management knows that it comes with a price. I guess I need to be somewhat specific and figurative at the same time. Yes, there is the danger of addiction if misused. I’m not referring to that. When road crews are cutting new highway through mountains and tunnels they often have to deal with boulders wedged so tightly that nothing less than explosives will get the job done.

I hope the lights are going on.

“Is she really going there, on a Catholic website, in Lent no less? Blasphemy!”

Metaphorically speaking, yes. I share about a personal experience that many of us have had, but no one wants to talk about.

“Well there a reason for that lady, if I get where you’re going with this! Less details, and get to the humility point or I’m walking.”

There is always some juncture post operatively speaking, when one is faced with a decision-pain or roadwork. If you get my drift? I distinctly remember a Milk of Magnesia commercial as a child- why, I don’t know? Weird stuff sticks in my head. Something about being gentle, a child in bed, a warm hug from MOM, problem solved. Does anyone else remember that?

“What does this have to do with humility woman, you’re killing me? I can’t read much longer, it’s like being unable to pull yourself away from a horror film. You know what’s coming, it ain’t pretty, but you just can’t pull yourself away.”

I fashioned a cocktail of that loving, gentle-acting, overnight sensation and kicked it back like a shot of courage. When you are miserable you will do the unimaginable. Prayer simply wasn’t working…fast enough.

As with these things, they tend to happen when you are furthest from the sanctuary of the lavatory. This would have been a great time for the so-called adrenaline boost that accompanies emergencies to kick in. Not the case, unfortunately. Enough said. I’ve spent so much time in the throne room that I am now officially an honorary queen.

“So where does the humility that you lured us into this train wreck come in?”

Oh that’s easy, I’m a mom, part of a family, and my adult children are having a party with this. Thanks to the speed of technology even those that live thousands of miles away can have a giggle at mom’s expense. Hardy, har har.

I believe God uses extraordinary heroic experiences to grow us in virtue, but lots of everyday small experiences as well.

Don’t overlook that fact.

If I can use this nightmare to learn to think a lot less of my wounded pride, and to offer it up for my growth in holiness then it has been a beneficial experience. When I shared this article with my father who has been a paraplegic for fifty years, he shed a whole new light on this. Another lesson to be learned, there is often times someone much worse off than yourself. Pray for them.

It’s what we do with those opportunities that help us grow spiritually.

And just as a warning to those who have yet to encounter this, if you add warm compresses or heat to the affected area you might as well scream, “Fire in the hole” and start running.

You’re welcome.

Happy holy-making!

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at blishko_58@yahoo.com