catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 8, Num 25 :: 2009.12.25 — 2010.01.07


Birthing wisdom in the place of brokenness

See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?

Isaiah 43:19a

Before being present for a birth, I have to perceive that birth coming.  I must acknowledge the birth’s significance and perceive how it fits into what I’ve already identified as significant. However, my perception is incomplete: “Now we see but a poor reflection in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” ( 1 Cor. 13:12a). I must be content with this truth from Paul even as I seek to birth wisdom via prayer.  That’s why I challenge myself to pray through the Johari Window.

Asking God for wisdom by praying through the Johari Window “backs up the truck,” so to speak, to Eve in Eden.  By acting out of her limited perception, she hurt us all.  Am I equipped to bring forth the fruit of wisdom — lasting fruit?  Paul reassures us in his first letter to the Corinthians that we are equipped with the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16b).  We cannot apprehend this truth lightly.  We must plumb the depths as we pray for wisdom and understanding using the Johari Window.

So what is this method that reveals our lack of wisdom and need for new birth?  It is the grid of a four-paneled window. The top left is a shared area, known to self and known to others.  The bottom left is our hidden area — what we know that we don’t want to share with others.  The top right represents what others perceive, but is an area of blindness to us.  Area four below it is the unknown area of no knowledge for us or for others. Where does the Holy Spirit want to work in our lives with reference to this grid?  Anyplace the Spirit chooses.  How can we be ready to receive new wisdom on the Holy Spirit’s agenda?  By asking: by practicing prayer that will reveal and reinforce the truth about us in God’s kingdom and humbly acknowledging what we can and cannot perceive.

The truth is we’re not home yet, much like Joseph outside the window of his house in Rembrandt’s etching.  The interior is filled with the intimate love of his wife and the Messiah.  Joseph’s holy longing places him prayerfully outside, contemplating the truth of the incarnation.  What is his (my) role in relating to the God of the universe?  Self-knowledge via the Johari Window is not the be-all-and-end-all.  However, “How do I pledge the self that I do know and understand to be used for God’s glory?” is a holy question.

Birthing wisdom is the process of yielding more of the clay to the potter so that we might not simply believe, but know with certainty, confessing afresh with Peter as part of the community of saints, “We believe and know you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:69).

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