Scattered words when I should be cleaning……..
My heart feels like it could break open this morning. Several weeks ago, I heard Kara Tippets speak at my Grace church. It’s so cliche to say I haven’t been the same since but I’ve decided all of life is cliche.
I haven’t been the same since.
She spilled out her broken, beautiful, messy wonder of a story and the Spirit moved in that room. She laughed more than I expected and didn’t shy away from the unwritten pages of her life.
My 12 year old daughter breathed in Kara’s words and grabbed higher hope from her,so we stood in line to have our book autographed and then I saw it.
Philippians 1:21 For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
We’ve prayed for her often and each day since I await her post on the FB.
It’s just like Jesus said it would be in Matthew 6:10. Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven. Each day I cry for this woman I’ve never met. And every day, I love these people tucked into my home a little better because of her.
Several years ago, I picked up a copy of the Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. I was sinking in the thick muck of it with fresh complications showering me daily and I needed someone else’s words to help me make sense of it. The bible holds words of life, but there are times when we need to hold a book written by a bleeder.
If Lewis has a handle on anything, it’s the bleeding.
I put it down because it was simply too heavy for the journey at that point. My pain isn’t acute today as it was then, but I’m coming out of a time when some of my core beliefs about people have been challenged and I still catch a whiff of smoke every once in a while.
Monday, as I waited for Kara’s post I wondered for a moment if I was a freak show creeper getting some sick emotional fix from her life. Sometimes you’re so dead on the inside that the drama of someone else’s pain is exhilarating in a twisted sort of way because at least you feel alive.
But I relate to her because she’s a mom and close to my age and because I know some children who’ve walked through the deep loss of a mother, but I realized it’s really not any of those things that draws me to her experience. When I see her unfiltered, beautiful, broken, bald and bold posts of peace, I don’t just see Jesus, I feel him. As my heart feels like it will bleed out for the hole that will be left on this earth when she’s gone, he transfuses the blood that spilled out of him into me and I feel him, I see him, I become him as I love people here better.
Yesterday was a 13 hour studio day. I heard the same thing over and over. Where are the people unafraid of the pain? Every face in the mirror, including my own looking for companionship on the journey. We are a people who fix when what we really need to be is a people unafraid to feel. I might finish the Lewis book at some point, but for now I’ve come up with my own conclusions.
Pain is the point of life.
We spend hours and dollars and energy and whole entire lifetimes trying to escape it. We schedule, chatter, and putter as we desperately try to hide the ugly dysfunctional messes that in essence define us and we spend a lifetime walking parallel to the very thing that would we cross it, could save us.
God’s heart broke when Adam and Eve chose fruit that he knew would bring them Pain.
He chose to send Jesus here so we could identify with someone who spoke our language of Pain.
Jesus’ very conception caused Pain to his mother; his gestation, great Pain to his earthly father.
His life was continually filled with the Pain of rejection and I believe his executioners broke his heart more thoroughly than they could ever have broken his body.
And the Pain of God the Father in that moment? Beyond our comprehension.
Do you see?
We have to cross the path of our pain before we can ever cross the path of Christ. We can spend a lifetime talking about God, catching glimpses of the pain and wondering of the meaning of it all, but until we make the choice to stop living parallel to it,until we cross it boldly, we will never experience the healing, transforming power of Christ.
Pain has no conclusion, but I believe it holds transformation.
Will you look under the hidden spaces in your soul today? Will you dare to embrace, just for a moment, the places that hurt the most? And when you feel as though you want to shop, or clean, or talk, or organize, or exercise, or eat to escape it…..would you ask God to be present in the middle of it? I promise he’ll show up and I promise that what you find in that moment will change you.
I’d love it if you share your thoughts with me. There’s a quote bubble at the top right of this post. It’s there just for you!
Follow Kara’s journey on the FB here.