My friend Rachel Bundang has her PhD dissertation accepted yesterday, no easy task to be sure. I was honored to be asked to sit in the gallery to listen to her professors grill her on her work. One of her professors called her work "foundational," meaning nobody else has quite done anything like this.
Her comments also gave me pause: "Rachel, you have created a foundational work. You've criticized other people's work and discovered "what's missing?" Know that one day someone will come along and ask the same thing of your work. And so on. That's what we call education."
My spiritual director noted that a screenwriting professor he has was often priviledged to be "in the room" on several television series productions. He noted that it took some skill to simply get in the room but once he was there the key was being able to let go a bit of his work, to let others criticize it and make it better--to discover what's missing.
How often do I allow myself to do that with my work? I suppose blogging at times secludes us from the editorial process and can indeed be an undisciplined form of writing. I often get hurt easily when criticized and feel like people have no right to rip my work in half. Recently when my website bustedhalo.com was redesigned I felt hurt that the previous five years was left in the ash-heap to make way for the new and improved (and much needed) redesign. While my work was foundational in the construction of a new website--a new editor and director came in and found out "what I was missing." While hurtful for me, I realize now how valuable their contributions are to my work and how I help keep them grounded to the foundation and how I've grown enough to let go of my insecurities and how I bring my critical eye to help build on their new additions even further.
God calls us to vulnerabilty and in those deep wounds we find great wisdom and peace. We need to allow vulnerabilty into our consciousness because it is an undeniable truth--we indeed do not know it all and we cannot avoid every instance of pain.
In my life I often worry about having enough money, enough presitige, enough knowledge. The bottom line is that I am not called to have enough--instead I am called to try to see what's missing in each present moment and contribute as best I can.
As my wife and I grow in love, may we realize what is missing in one another and work to build our marriage stronger by complimenting one another as parents to our soon to be adopted daughter and as lovers to one another.
May our God take what is missing and not merely hand us a solution--but allow us to grapple with the broken pieces of our lives, allow us to sit in the mystery, and allow us to be assisted by those who reach out to contribute to our lives with whatever may be needed that is missing.
What's missing in your life?
Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 4/25
14 hours ago