Inadequacy

Moshe said to the L-rd, “What has been the value of sending me? … Look, the people of Isra’el haven’t listened to me; so how will Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?”

Today I understood Moshe’s pain; his feelings of inadequacy.

This morning, as I was walking the dog, I encountered a Jehova’s Witness.  Not one to dismiss them quickly, I told him we could speak after I walked my dog.  When I got back home I wondered what we would say and how I was going to respond.  One is never totally prepared when they come because they’re always around when you least expect it.  I grabbed my Spanish Bible and a big folder full of articles on a different array of subjects based on the Christian faith, and flipped to the “Trinity” tab.  I quickly glanced through some of my notes there, knowing that this is one of their big issues with us Christians.

He and his wife knocked on my door not two minutes later and after I got myself some coffee (they refused, I did offer them, of course!) we launched into a discussion on – you guess it – the Trinity.  They were well armed with verses and I, although not without help from my notes, felt as though I couldn’t remember where any verses I thought of were in the Scriptures.  You know the feeling, where you’re on the spot and you can’t remember where your toes are, let alone what you’re supposed to say?  Well, that was me.  We talked about gods and the G-d Almighty, which apperently is different than the mighty god, and about the Ruach and what He really is and his relationship to the Father and the Son.  We talked about the relationship the Father has with the Son, too.  And the end times.  They left me a pamphlet on who G-d is, and I gave them an article I printed out from Torah Resource on the greater and lesser G-d, which I don’t think they’ll ever read because it’s in English and their English is limited.  I could hardly let them leave empty-handed, though.

After they left, I felt like I was unprepared and inadequate in my speech.  I felt that I couldn’t explain what I knew in my head and my heart in a way they could understand.  And I’ve felt that way before.

As I was reading my parasha notes after they left, though, I understood my emotions and how misplaced, albeit human, they were.

Moshe, although the matter had been addressed before, still complained to G-d that he was inadequate for the task he’d been asked to do and that no one would listen to him, etc.  He still didn’t get it that it would not be through his own power that this great thing would happen, but that it would be G-d’s power that would be manifested through Moshe that would set Isra’el free.

In fact, isn’t that always the case?  He, in his infinate wisdom, always takes the least in the smallest tribe, the broken instrument, the studdering man, the younger one.  The one least possibly likely so that there would be no doubt that it’s G-d’s work and no one else’s.

My notes say, “You see, Moses thinks it’s his words, how he phrases them, how he pronounces them, whether or not he appears confident and well-prepared as he speaks to people, that is the key for them getting the message of deliverance.  G-d tried, early on, to convince him that Moses’ own abilities didn’t matter a whit.  Out of mercy, for a man who could not yet understand nor fully accept G-d’s ways, G-d gave Moses Aaron to speak for him… even though it was not needed.  Moses’ adequacy was never the issue.”

And I understood that for myself as well.  No matter how foolish, inadequate, unprepared or just plain nervous one comes across when speaking about our faith and beliefs to others, if He was the one orchestrating this event, then His own power will be manifested regardless of one’s circumstances.  I believe that He sends us people to talk to for a reason.  I did not choose to meet a JW in the street, but I couldn’t let the opportunity slip away to share what I know.  If the L-rd wanted me to meet and speak with them, then I don’t need to fear what I sounded like or what I say or failed to say.  The scriptures speak for themselves, and G-d works in ways even beyond what we can see at the moment.  One can only be a willing vessel.

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