I just finished reading the Tao Te Ching in its entirety for the first time. I'm still not sure I understand the concept of the Tao (and perhaps its essence lies in its elusiveness?), but I think the poetry is beautifully revelatory. Chapter eleven especially resonated with me:
Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness comes from what is not there.
How very true, even for my Western, Christian self. God uses me not in spite of, but because of my insufficiencies--my open spaces, my holes. For it is only when I acknowledge the extent of my inability, my "what is not there," that I can truly and fully invoke the power of the Holy Spirit, who can do all things. If I rely on "what is there"--on what I can do by myself--I may profit, but I will not be useful. The climax of my Graves' disease story was the moment of surrender--the "I can't." It was the beginning of the long healing process that brought me to this point, where I am able, again, to be a servant...an offering... used.
"...power is made perfect in weakness.... For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Thank you, Lord, for making me inadequate.