Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Spiritual beggar lice

Debbie writes at her blog, Anything but Typical, about something the Cursillo Retreat she attended this past weekend brought up for her:
I don't know what people in other places call them, but here in South Georgia, we call them beggar lice. The inventors of Velcro must have had these things in mind.

These things are little tiny seed pods that stick onto everything they touch. They aren't prickly like sand spurs, but they are invasive weeds and easily contaminate other areas.

Thursday night, they were God's object lesson for me.

I spent the last weekend at Cursillo#111. For those of you who don't know, Cursillo is a short intensive course in Christianity. It is more of an experience than an event, and if you ever have the opportunity to go, take it. Thursday evening was the first night of the retreat and we talked about sin and confession. I sat there thinking that I don't really have anything to drag myself to confession for (or what the Episcopal Church calls the Rite of the Reconciliation of a Penitent). I wasn't feeling smug or anything, not holier-than-thou, just "prayed up". My Baptist friends and readers know what I mean.

Frank's beggar lice photoAfter the completion of Compline (the last evening service), Kenny and I walked back through the darkness lit by our flashlight. He went to his room and I went to mine.

As I was getting ready for bed, I saw them - beggar lice - on the hem of my jeans. There's only one way to get rid of them. You have to pick each one off by hand. You can't shake them off and get rid of them at once. Each one requires your attention. They can't hurt you, but if you take one of them home, they'll take over your whole yard.

How often do "little sins" fill up and ruin our lives? How many times have we called ourselves "confident" when really we were prideful? How about "self-assured" when really we were arrogant? How often has "me time" really been about selfishness and not about nurturing?

How many of these little things are we dragging though our lives spreading the infestation as we go?

As I stood at the bathroom sink picking the beggar lice off my pants, I though about how much it was like Confession. It's easier to ask forgiveness for infractions of the "Big 10" - they are more obvious and painful. But how often do we take the time to sit down and root out the other sins.

One of the prayers for after Communion, includes the line:

And Father, send us out to do the work
you have given us to do (BCP p 366)

Maybe, part of that work is getting rid of our own spiritual beggar lice.

anything but typical
Frank's photo of beggar lice

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  • At 10/16/2007 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is nice Debbie! Isn't it amazing that God can teach us something so great through something so small and annoying? :)


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