we fight hard, you and i.
its kind of miraculous, our tenacity. our resilience to press forward amidst the pain we carry.
i think about mothers. who have sacrificed everything they have for a new small baby who they carry in their tired arms. i see mothers who have children with special needs. these heroes i see all around me who are indeed miraculous.
i see brave single women fighting with everything they can do provide for their tiny children. alone. with no support.
i see women who are not married. courageous. working full time jobs, creatively pursuing their callings with all they have. on their own. extending whatever extra time they may have to be of support to those in their spheres that need mothering around them.
i see the wounded. carrying trauma they have encountered at young ages not knowing what to do except shove the pain deep down and move forward.
i see the ones who don’t know how to grieve. whose pain sits deep below the surface hanging about them like heavy, thick chains.
i see people people who have suffered unimaginable loss. who continue to move forward. whose joy can only be resurrected by the One who raises life from the dead.
i see the lonely. loneliness is its own kind of death. i see the ones who do not have community. who do not have a tribe, Jesus incarnate, to come scoop them up.
i see the ones who do not know how to feel because there has never been permission. because there were never safe spaces to express pain. their fear, shame, grief, or loss.
and so we stuff, suppress, and stay “strong.”
i think one of the greatest relational losses i see around me is that so many of us have given up being known. somehow we have pushed ourselves under the rug and have decided that who we are isn’t enough. i think thats the greatest sense of shame we feel. we look at ourselves naked in the mirror (literally and figuratively) and we shutter at what we see. and so we cope. and we work hard to better what we can. even if it means it will cost us everything. even the things in our lives that we can’t afford to give over. who taught us to feel shame when we are naked? when we let ourselves be who we really are. we wear our accomplishments and work energy like clothes that cover our nakedness.
all these curated pictures we see every single day- what does that say to us? how does that make us feel about our normal? what about all the “success and celebrity” we see of the so called “elite” all day, every day? what does that speak to us?
maybe that’s why are we so good at over-working and over-functioning. maybe we have a lot of work to do to keep up with what we see.
what if all we need to do is put our work down and turn to the few who we can trust and hold a warm hand? what if all we need is for someone who loves us to look us in the eyes and say, “i see what you are carrying and i get it. you aren’t alone. and you are deeply loved.”-
what if Jesus’ way of reaching the world was bearing his light through us?
john 1:4 in him was life, and his life was the light of man.
what if the deepest cry of humanity isn’t to have and to accomplish?
what if its to be known, to be loved, and to belong? and to give that to others?
that we would know the love of God that surpasses everything that is of value to the world. that we would be filled to the fullness. that we would know the breadth, the height, the depth, of his love. -ephesians 3:19
we live in an interesting time of opportunity don’t we? we with our wealth and resources. we 2% who have health benefits, salaries, fresh water, internet access, education, and food- and such variety of food that we can pick whatever suits us. we who have options to buy grain free and organic.
we who could collectively solve world poverty, nourish small little hungry bellies, we who could restore, mend, heal, and make new, wherever we are, are paralyzed in over-working and having. and we are miserable. alone. and hurting.
we with our instagram, blogging, facebook, and pinterest. we who compare and individualize. we who would rather spend our time living our lives in front of netflix and on social media instead of looking into each others eyes and holding each others warm hands.
can you feel the isolation? can you feel the relational loss?
what if we who are crippled by comparison, fear, shame, and anxiety could come alive by the warmth of each others physical presence? what if we redirected our energy to feel the warmth of a hand rest against us as the weight at which we carry our pain is seen and heard?
what if we Jesus is saying,
i see you. where you are. all that you carry. you aren’t alone. and i love you.