Over the holidays, my family have all been enjoying our favorite Gardens here by the coast. Above is a photo– well- an illustrated one- I caught a cold and couldn’t resist decorating it 🙂 –of one of the famous poems that are carved into many of the brick walls around the different parts of the Garden.
The poem “I’m Nobody” by Emily Dickinson inspired the prayer poem the Lord gave me the other day, “I’m Nobody Special.” (See my previous post on my Facebook Page).
I love to meditate on Emily’s poem.
“I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there’s a pair of us-don’t tell!
They’d banish us you know.
How dreary to be somebody,
How public, like a frog,
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!” ~Emily Dickinson
This little poem is a jewel filled with wisdom, understanding, and insight.
First off, a nobody is a metaphor for a person who is not famous, or who’s name, social status, or any other thing has not elevated him or her above anyone else.
The poet is content to be on the same playing field as every other human being.
Right away this reminds me of Romans 2:11 “There is no favoritism with God.”
Before the Lord, all people are equal. For out of dust we have been made and unto dust we shall return, God said to Adam in Genesis 3:19
Each of us will all stand before God someday. “To Him we must explain the way we have lived.” Hebrews 4:13 (ERV)
Whatever we may have accomplished or accumulated on this earth, will stay on the earth when we die. We will not be able to take one thing with us into eternity but our soul.
The rich man, the celebrity, the King and the governor will stand side by side with those on earth who were the poorest of the poor, the homeless, those who suffered, and the utter destitute~ people they would never have thought to acknowledge or invite into their homes.
Those who are elevated above others in status, according to the poem, don’t accept the nobody’s.
“…They’ll banish us, you know.”
Snobs~ people who believe they are better than others~ never accept the “ordinary mortal,” because in their minds the “nobodies” aren’t good enough in whatever way their group has elevated themselves above other people to associate with them.
Pride is listed first among the seven things God hates.
Proverbs 6:16 “The Lord hates these seven things: eyes that show pride…”
It may very well be the sin God hates the most because this was the sin that caused Lucifer, the anointed Angel, to fall and become Satan~the evil being who caused a third of the Angels to fall from Heaven and who is responsible for all that is evil.
Pride is hatred wearing respectable clothes. Pride is arrogance. Pride is haughtiness. Pride is selfishness. Pride is vanity.
Pride is idolatry for it makes of itself (or anything it is prideful of) an idol that sets itself up as a rival to God.
Pride incorporates multiple sins against God, who is love. (1 John 4:8)
And love is the antithesis of pride.
It is little wonder that the Bible says,
“Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.” (Psalm 138:6)
“Don’t think that you are better than you really are. You must see yourself just as you are. Decide what you are by the faith God has given each of us.” (Romans 12:3 ERV)
What happened to Lucifer, the author of all pride?
Ezekiel the prophet, using the King of Tyre as a metaphor for Lucifer, recounts what may have happened.
‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“ ‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god …” but you are a mere mortal and not a god…” (Ezekiel 28:1 )
“ Thus says the Lord God: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings.
On the day that you were created they were prepared.
You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground… ” ~ Ezekiel 28:12-17
Isaiah pieces more of the story together:
“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God;
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:13-15)
Jude recounts in one sentence the rebellion of the Angels who followed Lucifer.
Jude 1:6 (AMP) “And angels who did not keep their own designated place of power, but abandoned their proper dwelling place, these He has kept in eternal chains under the thick gloom of utter darkness for the judgment of the great day,”
Perhaps Satan tempted the rebel angels as he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, by promising them that they could be more than what they were if they just listened to him and not to God.
Such a temptation won’t work if you are content with who and what you are in the first place.
Jesus said in the The Sermon on the Mount,
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (Matthew 5:5 The Message Bible)
I have not taken the time to count how many times the Bible admonishes us to be thankful to God. A sense of gratitude counteracts a prideful heart.
Psalm 107:8 “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
I love reflecting on that little poem by Emily Dickinson because it never fails to speak something new to me each time I meditate on it.
My New Year’s Prayer is to be grateful to God every day, to thank Him for all the wonderful blessings He has given me, and to fervently pray for a humble and pure heart that will always be content to just be me.
In this world there will always be people who are elevated above others in myriad ways socially, economically, politically, etc.
But none are so to God in any way. All are on a level playing field before His eyes.
We must learn to see ourselves and all people as God sees us and them. Then and only then, will we be able to love ourselves and each other with no bias and from a pure heart.
New Year’s Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You that Thy word says ” there is forgiveness with Thee that You may be feared.”
Lord, Thy word says that You are very far from those who are proud and I want to be close to Thy heart.
Abba Father, examine my heart thoroughly; may You expose and forgive any and all pride that You find there.
Please show me all the ways I have ever thought more highly of myself or any of the blessings You have given me than I should have, and forgive me. Lord, forgive me if I have ever excluded anyone from my group because I didn’t think they measured up in some way.
Forgive me if I have valued people’s opinions of me more than what You have said about me, fearing people more than You.
Forgive me if I have treasured anything in my affections more highly than my relationship with You, oh Lord.
Forgive me if I have not been content and grateful to be who You created me to be, but listened to the serpent’s lies over Thy precious Truths.
Lord, I repent of all the ways I have been proud and not loving You with a whole heart and blind to all of this pride.
Lord, I pray for forgiveness and for a pure and humble heart that is free of pride; a heart that will see myself and others through Your eyes and will be free to love sincerely and wholeheartedly with the measureless love of Christ, in Jesus holy name, amen.
Proverbs 21:21 “The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
May you all have a beautiful New Year!