This article is written by Amy B on her blog at A Heart Surrendered.
Messy people. Messy people everywhere.
We talk about how God takes our messiness and by grace turns it into something beautiful. He exchanges beauty for ashes, wholeness for brokenness. Right?
In fact, it’s hip to be messy right now. So hip, that an artificial lens of ‘socially acceptable’ messiness covers our lives.
We talk about being ‘real’. We laugh and joke with each other about our little ‘messes’. Keyword: little. The ones that we know nobody will judge us for. The harmless imperfections.
Socially accepted messes. In light of them, nobody wants to talk about their real messes. They look way too real. Scary close.
“If that is considered socially messy, there’s no way I’ll willingly bring this mess to light.”
And if we’re honest, we don’t want to hear about the real messes.
Once somebody’s true messiness begins to show through, we shrink back in horror.
She struggles with that?
He believes that?
She said that?
He did that?
She wants that?
He still does that?
The real struggles. The ones that are actually hard to love.
I hear about a mess. A real mess. A disgusting, deplorable mess that makes me angry. It makes me rise up in righteous indignation, so I think. I go on and on, judging.
Until I it hits me. Fast, hard, and true.
Their mess is no better than mine.
There are no socially acceptable messes.
We all fail in the eyes of God.
We all need His relentless love.
They will know that we are Christians by our love for one another…until we find out just how messed up each of us really are. Until we let each other down. Until we fail each other. Betray each other. Hurt each other. Until we see each others messiness…and shrink back in horror.
But it’s just a mirror.
God looks at each of us and sees our messiness equally. We all need grace. We all need His mercy.
Oh, His amazing grace, unfathomable mercy, relentless love!
If He should give so much to each one of us, how dare we judge one another?
Daily, God sees just how messed up our hearts are. Moment by moment we let Him down. Barely a breath goes by before we fail Him again. The number of times we’ve betrayed Him makes a thousand look small. We hurt Him deeply with a single thought.
This is real messiness.
And yet, He still loves.
His hands still stretch out, willing to give us beauty for our deplorable ashes.
He is willing to turn this mess, this socially acceptable and unacceptable mess, into a beautiful mess.
And I have no excuse.
We have no excuse.
There should be no need for socially acceptable messes. There should be no fear of sharing our real struggles with one another. Heart burdens, flesh struggles, soul questions. These things should never be shoved away. Doubts, fears, hard questions. These things should be brought to light.
Instead, because they are looked down upon, they fester in the darkness. They grow. They thrive hidden away. They loom over the life of their owner. Sometimes they take over the heart, squeezing the life for every drop of faith.
My beloved readers, may we foster such a camaraderie within the church that this ceases to occur. May we open our arms. May we love the unlovable. May we love so hard, our hearts break with fullness. May we make burden sharing irresistible, that healing may begin.
May we support each other. May we love each other in spite of betrayal. In spite of hurt. In spite of the past. May we know each others weakness, because we know our own weakness.
May we forgive each other. Extend the beauty that was given to us.
Love one another as Jesus does.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:35