Boasting Fool

But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. – 2 Corinthians 12:6

Which is it, Paul? Which is it, God?
Foolish boasting from a boasting fool?
Or truth that, shared, inspires?
Truth that, shared, encourages?

I wish I knew.

I am, perhaps, more conscious of my weakness
than Paul was of his strength.
I doubt the exceptional character
of my revelations (let alone my self).

There is a hollowness inside
that hollers, “I am great!”
and echoes, “I am empty!”
and which is it, or both?

I wish I knew.

What can I do but echo the apostle
who expressed himself content with weakness
(I’m not sure I believe he was),
and begged the Holy Spirit then to fill

The empty spaces, tired places,
of the weary body,
of the weary mind,
of the weary soul.

A poem/prayer based on 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, the Revised Common Lectionary Epistle Reading for Year B, Proper 9 (14).

Photo by Eric Anderson

4 thoughts on “Boasting Fool

  1. O yes, reminding us that these feelings are not just pandemic related. Great weak. Trying to figure out what to say to people who are hoping for easy words to help them with their great and weak.

    • “Great weak” is a wonderful phrase. One of the things I love about Paul is that he makes clear just how hard it is to live his heart-felt theology that power is made perfect in weakness. No easy words for something that just plain isn’t easy.

  2. I like you a lot more than I like Paul. Sure, he was more productive than most of the world, in all of history. I’ll bet he never played an instrument, or was really adept at puns, or invited his friends to Hawaii. Yes, he was great, but I always thought of him as a jerk in real life. You? Not so much.

    • Thank you, John. I’m going to try to avoid the trap of comparing myself favorably to a prophet and a saint – except to note that neither of us displays discernable perfection. And both of us have been through God’s refining process, whatever that might be, so we’re not what we were and I, at least, am not what I will be.

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