I'm pretty new to referring to myself as a "writer." Truthfully, I think everyone is a writer - we just aren't always willing to reach into the murky depths to communicate what's on our mind. Oddly though I don't think it is just the act of writing that hinders us from reaching into that place between messy and uncomfortable.
This week I was sitting with one of our youth staff, Blaire Foltz, reflecting on life and she uttered words that have haunted me all week, "the pain deserves to be felt."
I'm house sitting right now. When I stopped by over the weekend to tour the house I knocked on the door and a women greeted me, having clearly just finished crying. "sorry," she muttered as she hastily wiped her tears away.
I wanted to jump out of my skin.
Every fiber in my being wanted to scream at her "DON'T BE SORRY!!!" What's fascinating me about pain right now is this shame-instinct that it triggers in us. Shame allows our hurts and pain to sit in a cesspool, swirling in our psyche until it destroys us from the inside out. If there is one function of community it should be that it is a safe place for us to shoulder one another's pain.
What's the point of church if its a simply a place we attend once or twice a week? Church should be what happens when we visit mourning families, eat meals together, give water to the thirsty, feed hungry people, clothe naked people. THAT is church. That's something that the world needs. That is Jesus being shown in our actions. The world doesn't need you to simply attend a music and speaking event and if you like it, leave a tip. The world needs you to be part of the Church and allow yourself to be broken and poured out.
Now I've successfully reached the point of rambling - one thing I promised myself I wouldn't do when I started calling myself a writer. I committed to writing short, succinct posts that illustrated a thought. But what's amazing about starting the process of reaching into those murky depths of our souls is when we realize just how much is there.
Follow up questions: who do you let know you fully? How is your community living out the gospel by clothing the naked, giving water to the thirsty, and caring for orphans and widows?