This post actually has nothing to do with Byzantine spirituality, despite the title and this Russian icon of Holy Wisdom… but while I’m on the topic: Random shout out to our other half of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Double Stuff Oreo Cookies and Milk, haha! (Inside joke with the Sisters of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery) Love ya’ll 😀
This post is about my wisdom teeth extraction adventure this past Monday (yes, how fitting to have my teeth removed on the feast day of John the Baptist’s beheading). The experience was quite emotional. For one, I went in knowing that I was receiving the service under the graciousness of a benefactor of our community, through the referral of another gracious benefactor of our community. While on the surface I thanked Divine Providence, I nevertheless asked questions of how to repay or at least show gratitude for such a gift?
We decided on sugar cookies. Despite the fact that these cookies are deliciously addicting, I didn’t think they were enough. So we gave them a thank you card as well. But this too wasn’t enough, so I did not cease to give the staff countless smiles and hugs and thank yous. Still, this was not enough. Then I realized that I could never do enough to repay such a gift. And in this realization I felt overwhelming smallness.
Of course, on the part of any giver, there is simple happiness in being appreciated; indeed, to any giver, the very act of receiving, on part of the receiver, in gratitude and thanksgiving is repayment enough. But on my part, it was killing my pride not being able to repay in a big way for a big gift.
But isn’t that such a stupid mentality? How does it ever make sense to match a gift with an equal or greater gift? Does not the first gift cease being a gift? Does it not rather become null and void? If I would have given a gift in gratitude for the service that cost just as much as the service, how is that different from simply paying for the service in the first place? Thus, there was something great to be learned in the midst of this adventure, namely, that Divine Providence does not wish and will not be out done in charity and the art of gift giving, or else it would cease to be Divine Providence…
So, in His great mercy, seeing that I had not wisdom (teeth nor virtue), but rather four gaping holes in my mouth, the Lord filled me with holy wisdom…teehee #puns
On top of that, all the readings for Mass and even the Liturgy of the Hours this week have spoken about Wisdom…o the humor of God!