Thursday, January 06, 2011


I was just reminded of this great illustration by Brennan Manning:

CHUTZPAH– Obnoxious Aggressiveness

Are you familiar with the Yiddish word "chutzpah"? It means "supreme self-confidence, boldness, nerve, audacity."

Esther Schwartz was in front of a hotel in Miami with her three-year-old grandson, Jacob. She absolutely adores Jacob. She bought precious little Jacob a canary-yellow, circular sun-hat so the sun wouldn’t touch the top of Jacob’s head.

She also bought him a pail and shovel. Out on the beach, Esther marveled at Jacob’s grace – picking up the sand, putting it into the pail, picking up more sand, putting more sand into the pail. She lifted her face and hands to heaven and expressed her thanks for little Jacob.

Just then a tremendous wave came in, picked up little Jacob, pail and shovel, and washed them out to sea. Esther Schwartz was very upset. She looked up at the sky and shouted, "Who do You think You are? Do You know who I am? I am Esther Schwartz. My husband, Solomon Schwartz, is a physician, and my son, Billy Schwartz, is a dentist. How dare You do that?"

Just then a second tremendous wave washed little Jacob, pail and shovel, right back to his grandmother’s feet. Esther Schwartz looked up at the sky and shouted, "He had a canary-yellow hat. Where’s the hat?"

That, my friends, is chutzpah. All for me and precious little for you, whether it be with regard to God or other people.

Source: The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning



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