This poem, and the reflection on it, highlight for me the tension between humility and confidence in our relationship with God. Learning to live within that tension is a vital part of the life of faith. We are called to be humble enough to take the lowest place, but not to be so self-effacing as to refuse to take the place that is offered to us.
I think for me, and perhaps for many who have had their ‘place at the table’ called into question because of their gender, sexuality, race, disability, age, or any other reason, there is a real temptation here: either to insist too stridently on claiming our place at any cost, or conversely to give up any hope of being permitted to occupy any place at all, and walk away. Neither of those are healthy or helpful responses.
God calls us to take up precisely the space God has prepared for us – no more and no less. When we are able to do that with humility and confidence, even in the face of whatever barriers or opposition we may face, it is a beautiful, powerful and grace-filled expression of our God-createdness, our God-belovedness, which is more compelling by far than either argument or absence.
This year for #AdventBookClub a group of us are reading “In The Bleak Midwinter” by Rachel Mann. Join us on Facebook or Twitter for daily reflections and discussions. We are also raising money for the Trussell Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adventbookclub2019.