“Be a mender.”
This is something that a good friend’s dad told me Monday night. It’s stuck in my head since then because when I look at my life, I don’t see a whole lot of mended things. I see a lot of brokenness. I see too many times that I’ve selfishly walked out on things that made me unhappy… Mind you, there are things that I’ve walked away from because I truly thought they were unhealthy for me. But there are a lot of things, especially recently, that I’ve Fort Knoxed my heart from the hard and painful things because I didn’t want anyone to break in, or leave once they had, and I’ve walked in safety instead of radical love. I’ve been walking as if I was alone.
I was talking to one of my brothers, and we talked about the way that people in our family react to certain situations, and it made me wonder if I fall into that same cycle. Do I leave things just because I feel trapped, or when I can’t control them?
“There’s enough brokenness in the world, try to combat that.”
Am I a person that breaks things out of self-preservation, or am I a person who works hard to fix the things that have been broken? Do I just run from thing to thing because I can’t find stability within myself?
How do you even begin to fix things that have been broken in you and your life?
I want to be able to face the difficult things instead of running from them. I want the strength to be a mender.
My thoughts have been extra scattered lately, therefore, bulletpoints.
- The God we serve works His restoration in the context of relationship, and therefore it follows that our faith is lived out in that same context. God’s love for us, our love for God, and our love for each another is expressed within community as we grow together and build each other. (That’s where the encouragement comes in)
- Isolation is a form of division. It’s also selfish. And stupid. Disembodied arms aren’t terribly effective. They just kind of sit there and stink and rot and stuff.
- God created us with the intention of allowing us to be creative with our lives, just as He is creative. (It’s that whole idea of ‘created in His image’)
- Paradigms are hard to rebuild and restructure, and sometimes the God we were taught to follow looks a bit different from the God we discover in living life away from that with which we are familiar.
- God values the honesty of His people. Take a look at Moses for that one: Moses mastered the art of the honest prayer and told God exactly what He was thinking. One particular exchange between them in Numbers 16 is especially beautiful to me. Go read it… See for yourself.
- The point of the story is the point of the story. When the point of the story becomes the pursuit of the minuscule, time is wasted. Sometimes those minuscule things are important, but that doesn’t make them the point. (I’ve spent a lot of time learning this one over the last 6 months.)
I want to be brave: brave enough to look at the disgusting things straight in the eye, brave enough to approach the monsters that look too scary to face, brave enough to live a beautiful story worth living.
I want to have courage enough to hurt in order that I may love, because love is not easy — it’s excruciating.
This story I am living is bigger than keeping people happy, it’s bigger than following authority, it’s bigger than being careful, it’s bigger than being watched and keeping in line.
Life is something wonderful that was created to be shared, and I don’t just want to share the pretties. I want to share the struggles and bumbles. Truth is, what I am living is messy. I don’t want order, I want beauty.
The beautiful part is this: In the mess, in the struggles and bumbles, I’m just struggling to figure this thing out, and frankly, I don’t always do such a great job of it, nor am I usually beautiful on my own. I wake up some mornings and want to kill my roommate for leaving a wet loofah on the sink in our room. Some days, I just don’t want to do what I have to do. Some days, I let a bad test score or someone laughing at me for the fact I’m praying for my mother who had bronchitis completely destroy my day. On those days, when I can’t see past myself, I pray that God will give me enough of His strength and grace to be beautiful in spite of myself.
Life is a challenge and a struggle. I intend to live it with all that I’ve got for the sake of loving and looking like Jesus, and bringing the Kingdom here: my life’s purpose is not to impress anyone.