Archive for November 25th, 2008


Service through injustice

November 25, 2008

Early last week, my Master gave me instructions to wear a particular outfit to work the next day. But i didn’t have the hosiery he was looking for, so he let me wait until i could go shopping. Then i got sick, and it’s a few days later before i’m able to pull together the outfit that he wanted. i was so excited that morning, dressing for Him, with a new jacket i knew He’d love to complement the rest of the outfit.

Except i wore the wrong shoes.

He said Oxfords, i read Mary Janes, and had that firmly implanted in my brain as what i was supposed to wear with my pretty new patterned hose. i never went back to the original email to double check the instructions, because i “knew” what they were, and it can be hard to find one specific email amidst the hundreds we send.

But i did dash off a quick request for confirmation to my Master. “The rest of the outfit is new black skirt and black Mary Janes, right?” He wrote back saying he’d been thinking the gray skirt, but the black would be fine, and i went upstairs to get dressed.

A couple hours later, i’m at work, i send him the pictures, and i have one extemely unhappy Master. He’s been waiting on this outfit for days, and he’s going to be on a trans-Atlantic flight later that day, so – while i can fix it and take the right pictures when i get home – he’s going to be traveling and not able to see them.

He’s annoyed and frustrated, and he takes it out on me. i can tell He’s disappointed and upset as i read His instructions – a long apology from me, then 50 lines of “i will pay better attention to my instructions,” then another long apology.  And “I might punish you more later,” he says.

My first reaction was injustice.  “Sure, i hadn’t gone back and read the email, but i’d confirmed the outfit with Him that morning,” i thought indignantly . But we have been talking a lot about punishment and letting go. That accepting punishment – particular for something that was out of my control or that i don’t think i deserved – was a way of letting go of control.

i wasn’t quite capable of completely letting go – i did have to send a contrite but defensive “i know i should have done better, but i checked with You this morning!” email first. But then i looked inside myself, and found a way to write a sincere and submissive apology, while simultaneously accepting that it was perhaps a mostly injust punishment. After all, i should have been more attentive to His instructions in the first place.

As i wrote out my 50 lines i began to understand that this was less about fault, and more about my Master taking out his frustrations on me. And – here’s the epiphany – that accepting that punishment, letting Him lash out a little, was an act of service and submission. He needed to work out His emotions, and i was His canvas to do that, and the punishment his medium. With that thought, those 50 lines became a meditation on submission and service, rather than injust make-work. When i finished, i was able to write an even more sincere and submissive apology.

Not very much later, He mentioned in an email to me that accepting the blame, letting him take out his frustrations, was a way of submitting. To which i could reply that i’d already figured that out, and thank Him for showing me a different way to serve Him.