This is my theme in 2011: Life is messy.
I was thinking about this in the shower yesterday (well…today…I’m writing this on Friday night. But whatever, right?).
Life is messy.
It’s not beautiful and pristine and dustless and without pain and blood and gore. Even the creation of new life here on earth is sweaty and grasping and full of fluids and sounds. Adoption is messy. It stems from loss – loss of a child, loss of a dream, loss of biological connection and shared DNA.
Life is messy. It’s not perfect.
It was once. Read Genesis 1. It was gorgeous and pain free and without tears and blood and gore.
And then there were humans.
And we sin.
All the time.
Life is messy. It’s dirty and dusty and bloody and tearfull and painfull (yes, with 2 “l”s – because it’s full of tears and pain).
Which is why Jesus is so…. everything.
Heaven is always described as the anti-earth. It is beautiful and pristine and pure and all of that.
But Jesus left that to come live with US…
And look at where He did His ministry. In the dust at the well. Along the dirty Jordan River. With the lepers and the bleeders and the sick and the lame. In boats full of smelly fishermen. In cemetaries with dirty men. On the cross, with His body beaten open and dripping blood and gore.
Because life is messy.
I used to get into a lot of trouble where I taught, because I am all about the mess. I like to dig down deep and discuss the mess – I want to talk about the pain and the tears and the sin. I wanted to know why we expected 12 and 13 year old children to act like fully developed followers of Christ, when we ourselves were not. Why can’t we acknowledge that there is sin in this world and anger and hurt and problems?
Because what’s the point of Redemption if you don’t have anything from which to be redeemed?
You don’t become a follower of Jesus and have a perfect life. You are still a mess.
But people don’t like to talk about the mess. They don’t want to hear that life isn’t perfect and beautiful. They don’t want to hear your pain or your sin or your doubt or your struggle.
And that’s stupid.
Because that’s what life is: pain and sin and doubt and struggle.
I don’t say this to be negative and a downer. I say this because it is true! Examine your own life. Yes, there is glory and beauty and love and good (I hope). But there is also stress, and doubt, and anger, and hurt, and failed expectations.
This isn’t bad (that life is messy) and that’s where a lot of people go wrong. They think that messy = bad. But I think messy = real. Real life is messy. You stub your toe on the way to the shower & break the nail down to where it hurts. You drop a sippy cup of whole milk all over you, the dog and the kitchen. Your toddler flings breakfast fruit all over the dining room. All of the toys from the toy box end up all over the floor. You’re late to appointments, you eat and spill it all over you, your car is falling apart, your kiddo poops in the tub.
Not bad. Just real.
And it’s messy.
And that’s what I’m interested in this year. People’s messes. People’s honesty.
Every year I try to design a life map; it’s my goals, my mission statement (if you will), my roles in life and how I will fulfill who God is calling me to be.
In 2011 you could sum it up with: Life is messy.
And I need to abide with people in their mess, and live with them where they are. I need to serve the people that are in their mess and love them where they are.
That will be hard, I have no doubt. People don’t want to be real with each other. They’re afraid they’ll be hurt further, or not taken seriously, or ignored or laughed at.
But Jesus never reacted that way. Even when Peter denied Him and essentially ran away and hid, Jesus loved him and served him (breakfast!) and redeemed him. Jesus didn’t laugh at him, or call him names, or question his faith in a mocking manner.
He loved him.
We are called to love God and love people – and that includes their messes.
So my goal in 2011 is to realize that not only is my life messy, but so is yours. And hopefully that will give me a little more grace…a little more love.