Thursday, August 29, 2019

Draw On

When you have to draw on something - like an experience or a strength or a tenacity - what kind of mental image comes to your mind? For me, it has always been the idea of drawing as with a bucket from a well. You dip down into a reservoir of whatever it is that you're needing, and you pull up an overflowing vessel of it and pour it into yourself. 

But that's not the image that Proverbs has. 

Proverbs 31 says that to "draw on" strength is to wrap it around you like a belt. 

It's the kind of thing that makes your loosest places secure. It's tightening your seat belt before taking off in high-speed traffic. It's testing your harness before launching off the zipline. It's making sure that you're locked in, wrapped up, and that you've got it going on. 

In the image of a belt, we are reminded of the fig leaf in the garden - something that covers our shame. When you draw on strength, you cover your shame so that you've got the fortitude to stand boldly in whatever it is that you're doing. To draw on your strength is to wrap it around you in such a way that when someone looks at you, that's what they see - strength. World, be warned. 

It's more even than that, though. Because when you draw something on like a belt, what you're really doing is defining your edges. You're making it so that you can feel exactly how far you go. Where you stop. What you've got. You feel more whole and complete within yourself because the edges of your being are clearly defined. In other words, it shapes you. It brings you down to this outline where you know exactly what you are and what you aren't. 

When you draw on strength, it shapes you this way, too. You figure out who you are. You figure out how much you've got. You feel the fullness of yourself inside your edges and know where you stop. It's about...integrity, about wholeness and feeling how much you've got. 

I like this image better. When I think about drawing on something as from a well, I'll be honest with you - it seems like I spill more of the bucket than I get into me. By the time I get strength from my heart to my head, it's half of what it was in the depths of my soul. And by the time I get it to my hands, forget about it. What strength? Oh, that strength I spilled all over everything that is now watering the weeds in the cracks of my life. Fantastic. 

But draw on strength like a belt, and suddenly, I know how far I go. I know where I stop. I get it. I wrap it around me, and it defines my edges. It shapes me. It covers my shame, and I become a silhouette of strength, and just look at that figure! 

Just a little image for you to take with you. Do with it what you will. 

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