Today was beautiful but also really hard and it got me thinking more about how I want to raise our kids. I don’t want to hide our brokenness (we actually can’t – it’s pretty much out here for them to see) but what I hope is that they someday accept others and their brokenness. They face their own brokenness and truly find freedom and life.
Brokenness makes us feel uncomfortable. Have you noticed that? I feel like there are many reasons for this but here are a couple. In order to meet someone in their brokenness it means we must reach into their own pain to be able to empathize (go watch @brene Ted Talk on … ) so instead we brush it off with “at least….” or we completely ignoring others pain, even our own.
Another big reason I see is actually due to twisted scriptures about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Messages on abundance, striving to live perfect lives in order to have a #blessed life. And that IF we do have pain, suffering, loss, trauma …those things are given to us by His hand they are given to teach us a lesson. Due to our sin or to refine us.
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” 1Cor. 1:3-5
That isn’t to say that “God will make us suffer so we are refined”. We often say this and many other scriptures mean that God causes or allows suffering so we can refine us, teach us something, etc. Think about that for a second, we are we saying? He hurts us so we can find hope in Him? He hurts us to rescue us? That’s just horrific, especially when you start putting context to it with things happening around the world or in our own personal lives. Instead, Ted and I actually believe it means as we suffer, and we learn to receive comfort from Christ we can be comfort to others. The refining comes because of his love for us, meaning He didn’t cause suffering so we’d be refined, it happened because we live in a fallen world, and His love came in and met us in our brokenness. That what’s makes the change.
I was thinking about our kids and what I didn’t want them to believe of the character and nature of Jesus. What if when our own human nature, or tragic or traumatic things happen and brokenness is inevitable, instead of trying to cover it up we shared truth with our kids amidst this? What if we shared that sometimes you may feel broken and grieved, that often these things are a part of our lives? Not to “lower the bar for them” – it’s actually setting them up for success when you say “it’s okay to not be okay sometimes”. In whatever it is you will face, FEEL through it.
That we sometimes do SUFFER and BREAK, and we need to FEEL, then we CARRY on. We offer this world a TRUE hope that is truly the only perfect thing we hold onto. An authentic hope that this world needs. The one Jesus came to the earth to give us. Not the life of “perfection”, abundant blessings or the one where we believe God would cause such horrific things to happen in this world. What message of hope is that? HE came to be our hope.
DAMN if we’d open our eyes and hearts. The Christ we need to proclaim is THIS one, Jesus: touched by suffering. Jesus: not too mighty to serve or love the least of these. Jesus… He saw and felt things as they were with the hope inside of the way things should be. THE JESUS WHO WEPT. What if we shared THAT Jesus, the one this broken, fallen world needs.
That’s the Jesus I want my kids to see and hold onto. That’s the Jesus who’s met me in the midst of tragedy, heartache and every day moments. He is our greatest hope. We should declare it with our lives. With how we live.