Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Marveling At #Messy

Marvel: to feel perplexity at 

I have spent weeks now marveling at the messiness of life...my life.

I'm considering it like my house. In our main living area where we spend most of our time, it's relatively neat and orderly. My husband and I are empty-nesters so our home tends to be fairly free of clutter. However, there is one room that has escaped our organizational abilities. Our son's old bedroom. It has become the room where all homeless items end up. Christmas decorations I have yet to put away, books I have no shelf-space for, clothes that were bursting out of drawers and closets, exercise equipment, hats, chafing dishes and place-mats. All jumbled together, piled on top of one another. Literally, there is one narrow path of floor space leading to the closet. It makes me nervous. I'm afraid if I go in I might not make it out alive, or at least not with all my bones in their original positions!

Frankly, I don't want to go in. Unless I have to. So I don't.

What We Would Rather Not Face

It's kind of what my life looks like now. In one respect, it seems a lot less cluttered. Neat and organized. Even a bit sterile now that some difficulties and challenges are behind me. Still, in another respect it's not so neat. Like our "chaotic" bedroom, there is an area of my life that is jumbled and seemingly beyond rescue. Isn't that how life is? We have to move on and live our lives. We need to find ways to manage the day to day "living" of this life. It could be your job, your family, yours kids, taking care of your home or aging parents. Whatever it is that keeps you going. Maybe not out of desire but out of need. So you busy yourself with what needs attending to. And, you actually enjoy a lot of those things. However, there is this part of your life right now that's hard. An addicted child, a dying mom, an unfair boss, a difficult diagnosis or a pending bankruptcy. Or it's your own sin that's made you numb. Do you depend on a few drinks to deal with a bad marriage? Does your porn addiction keep you up all night? Have you tried to say no to your rage and anger towards your spouse? These are the rooms we don't want to step foot in. They're too overwhelming. So we pretend.

We want to believe they are not as messy as they really are. They are seemingly beyond hope so we avoid them at all costs. Don't talk about them. Don't seek help. Why? Because, if you step inside you might get hurt. You may come out broken. It's too risky. Just walk by quietly and maybe, just maybe they will go away.

If you read my first #Messy post, you know that I have committed myself to writing in the midst of a mess. I'm not waiting for the clean polished testimony of what God did. Instead, I'm trying to write in the middle of it all. What does it feel like, look like, sound like, smell like? When life smacks you and you have to live, what do you do? How does the gospel really help? What does it have to say to people who are beat up and bruised? Bedraggled as Brennan Manning would say.

Some would say don't talk it about. It's not the godly thing to do. Just show your victory in Jesus and your strong faith that allows you to pray harder and stay on your knees longer. But, what if that is not what's happening? What if I'm not praying or reading my Bible more. What if, not at all? What if I stopped going to church? What if my life has changed and I don't want anything to do with much of what my life was about before? What if all that? huh? Would God still love me? Does God still love me? Am I even a Christian? What do you think? Would you tell your friends to stay away? Would you say "Surely no good thing can come from that?" All these questions...strewn about among the other misplaced items...

But God...

Like the sultry seventies singer Carol King, I find myself saying;

I'd like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won't ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Like her I ask, "Will you still love me tomorrow?" And the answer keeps coming back.

The gospel assures me over and over, "I will still love you tomorrow...and the tomorrow after that...and all the tomorrows after that." Even in the midst of my mess God won't let me forget that I am still His. That even though I let go, He never does. We are tethered together permanently and thankfully there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

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