Over the last few days I have been pondering a question that I am often asked when sharing a Good News Story from The Comfort Zone, from church life, and from my own life. That question is this ” is everything OK now?”, it is a question loaded with hope, yet often equally loaded with an angst that says “please tell us that the struggle is over!”
The thing is that I can almost never say that everything is unevoquivacally OK! It quite simply isn’t. my life and the lives of those that I encounter on a daily basis, are always fringed with messy edges, lined with doubts, questions and fears. I think that, that is why I love the words in the funeral liturgy that give thanks that for XXX the trials of life are over and death is past, they are filled with hope, but here and now, in the everyday walking out and working out of our discipleship we are living and learning together, and that is why we need grace.
I need grace to cope with myself, a deep grace that asures me that I am loved, loved deeply, and completely by the God who knows me through and through. I am known beneath my masks and my excuses, known through my faults and flaws, behind my gifts and talents, known and loved!
I need grace with others, and they need grace with me, and hardly ever does everything seem totally OK, but by resting and remaining in God’s love in Christ, by being connected to the life giving, love giving Spirit, feeling that life flowing to me and through me can I see that it will all be more than OK. This of course is always true, but I don’t always know or accept it, sometimes I block the flow of love by nursing hurts and grudges, sometimes I block the flow of life by sinking in on myself and refusing to live because I have been hurt or wounded.
We are all on a journey, all at different stages, all choosing to walk towards or away from the love that draws us at any given time, some find it impossible to love or be loved, and given some life storuies that is hardly surprising. Some will struggle and stumble their way towards love, and most of us will at least be limping towards a wholeness that becomes more apparent as we dare to take the next step.
Some days we simply need someone to sit with us in the road and wait with us until we can move again. Some days we may feel up to striding ahead, but dare I say on those days we had best be aware of those we might stride past!
This is the journey we are on, and while we are most often not OK, not completely OK, that is in itself not an issue, because in our weakness and in our brokeness, in and through our problems and our pains we find Christ at work by the Spirit making us whole, God’s strength being made perfect in our weakness.
I cannot expect my lovely friends from the Comfort Zone to suddenly be living “nice, neat” middle class lives, and I am grateful for that, because in their presence I am able to lay down my own masks, and through their broken honesty I find healing. What distresses me most is when I watch people taking on the pretence of what I call churchiness, when “I am OK” is the epected and required response.
The truth is most day I hurt in some way or another, most days I feel unsure of myself, most days I have questions for which there seem to be know answers, I am on a journey towards wholeness and as I walk with Jesus the holes in his hands remind me that I will be whole only by accepting that I am not!
So I leave you with a quote not from Scripture but from Leonard Choen:
So forget your perfect offering
“There is a crack, there’s a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”