Quick update: We’re back on the south coast of MA. It’s been quite a transition, and we appreciate the prayers and encouragement we’ve received from so many of you. With each passing day we feel a little more settled and affirmed that we are exactly where we are meant to be. We are spending the first few months here focusing on helping our kids adjust and making connections. I am also working on a new blog that will be up in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’ve tried to make some sense of my thoughts lately...
It’s been a tough few weeks all around. We are reminded daily of the evil that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. More bombs. More shootings. Racial tensions. More fears cloaked in cowardly violence. Families fleeing oppression only to be rejected by those from whom they sought shelter. More brothers and sisters fallen victim to the disease of addiction. Sometimes it’s hard for hope not to waver.
…We’re not afraid to admit we’re all still beginners
We’re all late bloomers
When it comes to love
All my favorite people are broken
My heart should know
Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
You can stay right here
You don’t have to go…
We’re all in this together, friends, and there’s a sweet comfort in knowing we’re in good company. Here we can lay our vulnerabilities on the altar together and allow the fire of the gospel to consume them as our offerings. The problem with living sacrifices is that sometimes they crawl off the altar. Can we truly offer hope and healing to others any further than we have received it to mend our own brokenness? And how can we fully receive healing unless we recognize our own desperate need for it?
Throughout the past month I have come to appreciate what Henri Nouwen refers to as the often-painful “gift of self-confrontation.” When we engage compassion and enter into one another’s sufferings, we come face-to-face with our own brokenness. We begin to trade specks for logs as we face our own pain and fear of rejection. Our search for affection, safety, affirmation, and trust are mirrored in the faces around us. Though our battles may look different, underneath it we are all fighting the same enemy. Owning our brokenness and turning it into an offering may seem like weakness. I am learning, however, that it’s the only way to silence the darkness and bring restoration. A seed needs to be buried and broken before new life emerges.
In the heartache of the fringe
I recognize the brokenness in myself.
Pushed to the limits of my thin love,
I attempt to stretch it over pride,
Over fear and lies
Like a too-small blanket.
Light pierces through the veil of compassion
Exposing the cracks in my own heart
And I weep over the times I should have said something —
Should have initiated
Should have stood my ground
Should have listened
Should have shut my mouth
And buried the pat answers when true lament was required.
I see it in my impatience,
The harsh tone of my voice towards those whom I love the most.
Comparisons invade my thoughts
Insecurities whisper in my ear
you are not enough
YOU ARE TOO MUCH
You don’t have anything worth saying
quiet down before you push everyone away
Where is God amidst these shards?
God with us.
He does not hide His face
Or run away from brokenness;
He steps into it.
Making himself broken,
And in so doing,
Making all things new.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”John 12:24 (The Message)