Where do YOU find yourself broken and in a heap?
Oh - wait... this is assuming we are being real here and we are going to be honest enough to admit that - from time to time - we are, in fact, broken... (and in a heap!)
When the going gets tough and you want to run... when it seems you can't quite keep centered and upright, and the voices coming at you are pulling you down and sowing fear and doubt and feelings of failing at that one thing you thought you were good at... where do you go - and who goes with you?
In the past - for me... I would retreat. I have always been one to choose my words carefully and when I felt that something careless may just slip out unplanned, in anger or fear - my default was to shrink back into seclusion and think things through! It felt 'smart' (safe)... it felt wise and deep and grown-up and mature... but it also felt lonely and thanks to my persistent, loving, smarter and wiser Honey - he, along with God, have taught me a better way.
Now when I want to run... and feel myself stumbling backwards... steps uneven and rushed... footing unstable... soul and heart slamming around - I resist the impulse to run; to close the door to my room and my heart, and pull blankets up over my head! (OK - sure - sometimes I get as far as covered in layers in the dark... but He won't allow me to wallow there for long!)
For me - I run to my 'spot'... my seat in the living room where my journals and Bible and gorgeous views can be held close... I spend time with Him... and then with them - those precious ones I do life with on a daily basis!
This week... and last month... and for much of last year... we faced eucharisteos, one after another they came at us hard. We lived our life out loud and on purpose and sowed Truth the best we could. We prayed for and planned on an easy road... (I know, I know! Well - I know now...) But where do you run when Romans 7 just keeps manifesting? How do you reach out to a broken heart, all walled up and unwilling to be honest... with themselves, with you... with God?
For us... as a family - we have found ourselves broken and spilled out, all piled up in a heap on the kitchen floor. Yes - the kitchen floor! At 2am... and at 8pm... in the summer, and the winter, too... we have started upright and arguing, and ended tear-smeared and broken... sometimes you must re-break to have healing be complete. Oh how we don't want that... but so often - for true healing... whole healing... broken - yes, again - is what is needed!
I am sure there are some metaphors as to why we end up here... in this kitchen... on this floor.
Crumbs linger here... community gathers, life happens, and this room is the place where we all migrate to be together... relaxing on the loveseat (yes - in our kitchen!) or working at the computer... one doing homework, one watching sports, while the other is cooking... feeding... nourishing... Things stack up dirty... plates are chipped, cracked... messes need wiping up.
We talk about days and dreams and what is coming at us... we talk about yesterday and tomorrow and what we can't see yet. Yes, I am sure I could draw deeper meaning for why, on a Monday night, we are once again draped and overlapped and clinging on to this life we live as one family unit of 3... of three in One.
The floor is cold and hard... much like hearts wounded, and it breaks us. Yet it comforts us to feel the strength of it - the surety of it's holding us... the knowing that whether fists pound, or souls leak... whether dreams die or hope is stirred up... our foundation is sure... and grace and forgiveness wraps around us in the midnight hours as we bow down low and offer up confession and seek out mercy. As fear and regret mingle with defiance and denial... doubt creeps in and up and into thoughts of cutting, of loathsome self-talk, of hatred... Romans 7 words spill out and didn't we just sit in another room and read through Romans 5?
We did. We did...
"We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next… All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.” (Taken from Roman 5 in The Message)
So we remember... we remind each other of this 'aggressive forgiveness we call grace' and we shout in whispered promises that grace wins, hands down...
...and on the cold hard kitchen floor, with frozen feet, and runny noses - we cling to hope... we cling to each other and our broken bared souls... we reach for necks and arms wrapped around, we smooth worries and hair, and rub temples and offer Home.
...and we grasp for Grace... and we find it... every. time.
Praying you find it too my friend, for whatever you are needing it for today!
May I encourage you to run to Him and accept His gift of aggressive forgiveness... His Grace! He's standing in wide open spaces - with arms & hands outstretched, nail pierced. And He's lovingly waiting for you to run into them... into Him!
(I will see you there!)