I CAN WILL…BUT I CANNOT DO

Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel

15 I CAN WILL…BUT I CANNOT DO  Romans 7

Let me tell you what drives me crazy about other people. And then I’ll have to tell you what drives me crazy about myself. The log in the eye thing is real, y’all!

The diagram above: It asks for more than casual glance. I would rather you dig into it than read the rest of my musings. I mean it.

Since 1955, some have called it an exercise. Others have used it therapeutically. It has to do with God—at least one person is wondering—because it has to do with self-awareness and what we do not know about ourselves can hurt us, others, and therefore community into which our baptism initiates us.

The Johari window is for what we see (or do not see) when we go vulnerably before the mirror. Paul goes there in Romans. The blind quadrant and the unknown quadrant, for me, are substantial. “I do not understand my own actions (v.15),” he writes.

Thus why he may be sharing more of himself in this particular letter (i.e., the ‘tell arrow’). And he may well be seeking feedback—other arrow—as this is, we gather, an ongoing correspondence. The Romans are brothers and sisters in the One who had advised followers to tell and to seek. Maybe Paul is making good on that truth.

In any case, how is it with your window? How is it with Boulevard’s window? [Here, being in the red is a positive.]

When there are things we want to do, but fail to do, perhaps God gifts us with an occasion to proclaim more than our own wretchedness (v.24). Maybe that’s when we say: Forget fixing me! I cannot even fully know me.

That he was not left to his self-loathing, Paul thanks God through Jesus Christ; which is more than an obligatory nod. You see, Christ institutes the kind of community whereby the command to love God and neighbor necessitates working at loving one’s self…and by this summons to self, Paul experiences mercy…rescue.

So, do the work, as a mentor of mine has said. Invite others into the gap between what ‘I can will…but I cannot do’. Trust that they have a God-given candle to carry there. And celebrate. In independence and interdependence, the holy abides.