Sarcasm. It’s hard for me to imagine my day to day exchanges without it. For me, it’s made the intolerable, tolerable, the rude, hilarious and the painful, palatable. . It’s the space right before you really see me. Sarcasm cries out for attention without the consequences, without the dignity, of vulnerability. Now, I don’t know about you- but I am going to need a sufficient substitute for my friend. How would I ever replace Sarcasm? She is my shield.
It was in this room- our church, two weeks ago that I heard it, the word I heard was going to use as my replacement: Enthusiasm! Yes! I have always wanted a reason to use this word.
Enthusiasm comes from the Greek origin, Enthuse- Meaning; the God within. Wouldn’t this be great?! Instead of being sarcastic I could be Godly. I instantly felt pressured. This last week my husband was out town and my children revealed their true identities: gremlins. I was NOT enthusiastic about it. And that’s where the magic happened. I leaned in to the mess around me. The mess inside me. And I think the word we’d use to describe it is humility. And the simplest definition of humility I have heard is: truth. The truth is the only thing powerful enough to survive the wrath of sarcasm. Truth invites people in where sarcasm would say Keep Out. Truth creates a sacred space where sarcasm can only pretend. Truth will provide opportunities to meet yourself as you really are. Sarcasm will shield you- but not in the way you need protection.
So while I won’t be giving up my sense of humor this lent season- I will be observing the ways in which I am afraid of being truly seen As the brutiful mess I really am. I invite you to do the same.