“When pride comes, disgrace comes;but with the humble is wisdom” Proverbs 11:2Sometimes we all get caught up in pride. Sometimes we have no idea that it is the root of our behavior. But as I was listening to an interview about about the group of Christians who wanted to rescue the Haitian children by putting them on a bus with no papers of authorization and heading to the Dominican Republic, I was taken with a comment that a caller to the show made. The caller said that what disturbed him was that perhaps these people were misguided thinking that they were saving these children from “the grip of the devil” (i.e. Pat Robertson’s remarks of Haiti making a pact with the devil). That they may have felt called to act on behalf of the children. Learning in another interview that according to the Pastor of the church in which they belong, they “dreamed of opening an orphanage” and apparently considered this an answer to their prayers to be useful. After all, doesn’t it tug at your heart to see babies/children with no one to care for them. But it is is misguided pride. To assume that you know what is best for someone else is pride. I am guilty of it all of the time in my speech. In my heart, I generally know better. Consequently because of these people’s actions, authorized adoptions were slowed down a bit. Counter productive, ehh?As I write this I know that I am not being completely honest about my take of this story. I don’t trust this group. I wonder if they made a point of knowing the history of the country to understand why this way of approaching “helping” wasn’t going to be so easy. Maybe the assumption was that no one is looking. Even if their intentions were of the most honorable why didn’t they seek out an organization like Save the Children or some other specifically child centered cause to link up with. Because of pride, maybe because they felt they could “do it better.” I don’t know and all of this is mere speculation but I think it speaks to a malady amongst Christians in general. Our book can be confusing. Some of the passages if not prayerfully discerned can feed our pride. For example, while they are imprisoned for this deed, they can take comfort that Paul too was imprisoned. Sometimes it can be very difficult to not fall into righteous pride….ask me all about it. But, if we approach any of our service with humility it will bear the fruits that God desires. Our “dreams” of service cannot be romantic. They must be practical and move forward in a practical manner. Otherwise we are looking to glorify ourselves instead of serve God’s people.Today I pray to be saved from righteous pride and to nurture my humility. I pray for all the people who may intend well but whose actions are misguided; that we can all get beyond ourselves enough to be real use. That we do not bemoan the limitations of our resources but that we embrace them and see them as an avenue to build a stronger faith community. We ask this always in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
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Wife, mother, blogger. Director of Faith Formation at an upstate inner city Catholic parish. Have facilitated adult faith groups. I love to garden even when it goes wrong. Same with writing...and we know it can go wrong. But here is where my love of God and love of writing intersect.