The truth is I've had a rough couple of days. It started Saturday when I heard that another lady had lost her battle with ALS. And even though I knew she had won a great victory over death that day through the blood of Christ, I wept for her family and--for the first time--my family and me.
Then I went to church on Sunday. And as much as I tried to keep my focus on God, I was distracted by my wounds. And the wounds of those around me. And I wanted to just interrupt the order of songs and offerings and speaking to beg my sisters and brothers to their knees. I wanted us all to embrace each other with our pain and our gaping wounds and not be afraid to have another's blood and dirt touch the nice, clean garments that covered up our own blood and dirt. I wanted us to minister to each other's wounds before we went on with the great matter of worship. Because isn't the what Jesus would do for us? Clean us up so we could worship Him? I mean, isn't it because He cleans us up that we want to worship Him? And when our wounds are acknowledged and then bandaged by a servant of Christ, we want to sing a song of thanksgiving to the One Who sent His bondservant to our aid, the One Who Is our Healer and Encourager.
Then my man leaves for a week and my house is up-side-down and I have meetings and soccer games and fall parties to help with. And I'm grumpy and I'm tired. And I'm still mourning the loss of my brother and the loss of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have sought another hospital for their wounds. And I'm still wounded.
And I don't want to write because I don't want to be honest and I don't want people to know the junk I carry around inside me. But then, who is going to be the first one to open their nice clean garments and expose their wound and cry for help? God is the Great Physician, yes. But He sends his PA's to partner with him in pain management and healing. And we're all wounded. And there is help all around us in the church.
And yet we cover up the gash and put on clean coverings and walk around, hurting and broken and too ashamed to admit we are bleeding in the dark, secret places.
Because everyone else looks so clean.
And sometimes the best gift we can give to our visibly clean but deeply wounded sister is our whole broken selves.
"Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Ann Voskamp has become passionate about seeing the broken church healed and prepared for the return of Christ. Read HER THOUGHTS HERE and the thoughts of one of her contributing writers HERE in "Why it's okay to really need each other."
Because if we can't admit our struggles, how can anyone ever trust us with theirs?
And it goes beyond the church. Those who are searching for a Savior will be much more interested in ours if they hear about how much He has saved us and how He is saving us still.
We have just got to be real.
Attitude of Gratitude:
#281. A beautiful time at the pumpkin patch with my beautiful 3-year old princess
#282. Distance and time, because they make the heart grow fonder
#283. Toys all over my floor, because they remind me that we are richly blessed
#284. Crunchy, fallen leaves and mums (285) and pumpkins (286) and warm sunshine (287) and left-over potato soup (288) and a late harvest of peppers (289) and trading goods with my brothers and sisters like the early church (290; Acts 2:44-45)