Sometimes I feel like I’m the ONLY ONE. The the only one who gets the joke; who sees the absurdity in a given situation; who uses proper grammar; who cares enough to spell YOUR NAME correctly (Oh, for the love of God: mine is D-E-N-I-S); who knows the meaning and proper use of the word exacerbated, which is often how I feel. Being the ‘only one’ can be lonely place. Why isn’t everyone as intelligent, well-informed, and confident?
Of course when I think about it (and pray about it) I realize how self-important and misguided I am. At times I choose solitude because I want to be alone; to not be bothered by the opinions and needs of others. It’s easy to be uncaring when you remain aloof.
Do you suppose that John the Baptist (the crazy, animal skin wearing, locust eating, hermit) thought that he was the ‘only one’? The only one who knew what was coming? Was he skulking around in the desert because he was disgusted with the callous disregard of others? Maybe. Or did he think that wandering around alone in the desert was a great way to get his message out? I don’t know. But as we prepare for coming of the infant Jesus at Christmas, John the Baptist reminds us that there is something else coming. We must prepare for the change that Jesus creates; in our world; in our church; in ourselves. While I may feel like ‘the only one’ that is exactly the opposite of the message of hope, peace and love and togetherness that Christ brings to us. I am admonished by the Gospel message.
I need to join humanity. Get dirty. Pay attention. Get involved. Make a difference. Lend a hand. Carry a load. Love. These are not things that I can do alone.
I believe that when I open my arms (and heart) to others, then and only then, am I truly worthy to hold the Christ-Child. In the meantime I have some valleys to fill and some mountains to tumble. I know that my own arrogance, pride and ‘only one-ness’ need to be made low. And my heart and spirit could use some filling up and straightening out right now.
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.” Matthew 3:3