I actually considered calling this blog “Future Patron Saint of Jerks” except I was afraid that someone might stumble on it and
- a) think there’s an actual patron saint of jerks, or
- b) call me out on the fact that I’m not a saint, merely a jerk.**
However, it’s an apt title. Like most people, I’d like to think that I’m a good person. If we define “good person” as someone who doesn’t go out of her way to hurt anyone, then I’m good. You won’t see me rob the elderly or burn boxes of kittens!
Using the more common definition of “good person” – someone who donates to charity and speaks cheerfully to strangers – I’m good. And if I compare myself to the worst of my neighbors, I might convince myself that I’m downright saintly.
But the common definition isn’t the true definition. Yet there’s mercy. Lent has come again, with its call to repentance.
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God,
For he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love,
and relenting in punishment.
– Joel 2:13
I think of the times I’m crabby or impatient or unthinkingly callous. An inconsequential, stupid person whom others (justly) hold in contempt – that’s a jerk. And that’s me, all too often.
**And from what many would consider a jerkwater town.