There is a “plank” in my eye. If you noticed and weren’t fooled – not even for a second, not even when I finally used my Warby Parker gift certificate and tried hiding my eyes behind hip, lightweight glasses for the low, low price of $95 like the rest of New York – then you probably also noticed that I have been wearing the same grey and black wool-blend sweater for weeks. It’s time for both of these to go.
A speck in your eye and a plank in mine right? Focus on change within yourself rather than calling attention to another’s wrongdoings? Jesus is one of a kind: He’s so smart, and He’s always challenging us to bring the kingdom of God alive within ourselves in a true way—which makes this a terrible time to tell you I wrote a whole blog post that only focuses on others. It was inspired by this really annoying woman who appears on my Facebook newsfeed, but whose posts I won’t stop reading because as special as she is, she’s highly entertaining too. I wrote the whole thing in 10 minutes and it was far easier than writing what you’re currently reading. I talked about Bruce Jenner too. And I said that gender is not a damn choice, you’re born with your gender, but that I believe in treating people with dignity so if you want to live as a woman then I must respect your decision. I am forced to wear pantyhose for fancy work events, and I can’t wait to take them off. You can have them.
Removing a plank from your eye is easy. Alright, maybe not easy, but we can assume that removing a plank is very doable, or else why would Jesus firmly command us to take it out before calling attention to the speck in someone else’s eye? Plank removal is probably easier than a lot of things, like asking the waiter to split the group tab into seven individual checks at the end of a big meal for example. Is it me, or has asking for your check to be divided become almost taboo? I don’t understand this way of thinking. I managed a restaurant; I was a waitress in a restaurant in Soho. You know who eats at Soho restaurants? People who want their tab split into the maximum amount of checks possible, that’s who. And I did it every single time. And then I collected a nice tip because the patrons were all like, ‘Man, she didn’t completely freak out at us for asking to pay. Not to mention she has some great breasts.’
So how did this new plank get there? How did I let something that is hard and foreign and frankly, dangerous, just sit in my eye? I mean, I value my vision; I would be terrified if I were to awaken and my sight was gone. Sure, it may have taken me nearly a year to pick up with blogging, but I really do value words, and having this site as a vehicle to express my thoughts, triumphs and disappointments means so much to me – none of which is possible, in the traditional sense, without my sight. But I’ve let this sit and sit because as easy as removing a plank might be, it’s far easier to look for specks in the eyes of others.
My multifaceted, multi-layered plank wasn’t causing me any pain until recently. Things were simply too busy or too hard to notice a piece of wood. And when it did hurt, I drank wine to numb the pain. And gin. And tequila. And Jack Daniels with lemonade. You’re a smart person so I don’t need to tell you that the point of this piece isn’t to encourage drinking, but if you haven’t tried Jack Daniels and lemonade then go do that right now. Because it’s delicious.
A person like you must read that last paragraph and think, ‘She’s got a serious drinking problem’, but I promise you I do not. Ask of any of my friends and they’ll tell you that I can leave it or take it when it comes to liquor. Born into a family of heavy drinkers, it just doesn’t give me the same thrill that it gives to others. For me, slightly heavy drinking is a sign of undeniable, unsettling boredom. Boredom that is deeply rooted in being completely unsatisfied with the way things currently are. Boredom because things have the same way for too long. Bored and scared that God doesn’t know how to use me. Bored and angry that change has come to everyone else’s homes – the people in my life are quitting their traditional jobs to make room for their true passions like it’s going out of style -, but a big change hasn’t visited me in four, maybe five months. Ridiculous, right? To be so hungry for change when the whole world needs a makeover. I have never, ever been good at waiting – that much I can admit – but I used to be a master at contentment. I held a doctorate in gratitude at one point in time. And the plank is blinding me to how good I have it. So it has to go.
I don’t know what is standing between you and your tweezers, but for me it was ME. You can’t only desire change, you must open the door for it and to Jesus, who is and always will be the Way. I feel such relief when I think of that because I am such a hot mess without Him. I mean, you have no idea. The level of HOT and MESS can reach unprecedented levels when I’m separate from the vine. Without Him I cannot bear fruit, and I hurt others when my plank (and my issues) rub up against them.
I pulled the plank out. Another will take its place, and there’ll be another moment when I am humbly reminded to focus on myself before I focus on another. But at this moment I feel I am carrying less weight. I am so light that I can be good to myself and to others. And you know what, I think I’ll walk home.