Lots is going on in my head and my heart right now, but one thing I have been thinking about today and wanted to share... it is simple and might not seem worthy of a post, but I cannot help but praise Him for the way He humbly speaks to me through others.
The people God has been using (throughout my entire life) to selflessly and sacrificially pour into me with God-breathed encouragement, listening ears, committed prayer, much-needed accountability, and partnership in the Gospel have been the ones who admittedly display their brokenness. Sometimes their brokenness is 'on display' because of outward circumstances and sometimes it is something that they invite others behind the curtain to see. --I am broken-- I am reminded of this every single day and need for it to be that way or else I do not need a Savior. It's as simple as that. Because I am broken and so desperately content in this setting-in pieces before Him so that He died for someone who NEEDS Him-I am eager to listen, learn, and do life with others who truly need a Savior; people who see their need.
If I happen to live at a homeless shelter during a season of my life and you come there with your figured out life and polished appearance and tell me about Jesus who came for the sick but you do not see that YOU are sick, I want nothing to do with you or your Jesus. If I can sit under a bridge with someone who is living there and talk all day long about the character of Jesus and how He longs to bring healing and bind up our wounds (obviously referring to the wounds of this guy who spends his days drunk on the streets) but I do not see the places where He is begging me to come out from under a bridge and let Him bind up MY OWN wounds, what on earth am I doing!?
Guys... we are not so different from the people whose brokenness is on display. One of my dearest friends, who is currently in a season where she is dependent on others to provide a place for her to live, said to me when we first met something along the lines of "it is so nice of you to come here and spend time with us... i know you must get weary of hearing about how messed up we are--you are really sweet to take time out of your day to minister to us." I think my face must have shown my shock (until my words confirmed it) of what was exiting her mouth and how strongly I felt the opposite of what she was expressing. Eww- forgive me Lord for ever putting off the impression that I have things figured out!!!! Aaaah. The thought of any one of my friends whose brokenness is more evident to the outside world thinking that I am in a higher place, a more holy place where I can afford to take time out of my day to 'minister' to them, the lowly and shattered, makes me feel sick to my stomach. I understand that it might look like I have things under control/figured out/am doing just fine (and most of the people who might happen upon this probably appear the same way)... I really do see how this could be falsely assumed, but there is not a bolder lie that you could say about me.
I love so much when Jesus is sharing a meal with the "ragamuffins" or disreputable and the Pharisees see Him and wonder what on earth He is doing with 'those people.' He overhears them asking His disciples what is up and chimes in "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners." (mark 2) Plain and simple and makes me smile really big because the pompous(so often ME) were just called out... He didn't come for those who think they're righteous, He came for those who know they're sinners in need of grace. If we don't see our own sin and brokenness, where is our need? Why does a cocaine addict need Jesus more than me? Why does a child molester need Jesus more than me? Why does a sexually promiscuous woman need Jesus more than me? They don't. I need Him just as bad as they do... do you believe that about yourself? I am constantly having to remind myself because I forget this ALL OF THE TIME. I cannot fix them because only God is capable of that; but what I can do is come alongside of them and join them in their brokenness and let them see mine as we learn to let Him bind up our wounds together. Mmm... I think this is the community He speaks of right before He dies on the cross for us.
Ahhhhhh, His character is so stunning!! Anyway, this whole post was just to express that I am truly thankful for the people who invite me into their brokenness, however much(or little) muck has to be removed for it to be brought to surface, because it helps me fall more and more in love with the God who delights in being our Savior. Delights in binding up my wounds and healing my heart... who came because i NEED Him, not just in case I happen to need Him if I, God-forbid, fall into one of those glaringly dark places of brokenness (please note typed sarcasm).
All that to say, the people that God is using to bless my heart during my time on this earth are the ones who do not let me think of THEM more highly than I ought and do not let me think of MYSELF more highly than I ought. I don't want to listen to you and learn from you and share my sin with you if you pat yourself on the back before you go to bed each night or agree with me when I accidentally give you glory that He deserves for what He is in you. I know this entire thought process could be perceived as self-righteous and maybe it is, but when I read His words tonight "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the rooftops!” (matthew 10), I decided to proclaim from the rooftops what I truly believe He has whispered (the loud kind of whisper that is relentless) in my ear.