Remember when you were a kid and life was easy? Remember when it wasn’t? Like the time you broke your favorite toy. Perhaps that swing hanging from the tree broke and you could no longer be happy any longer? Do you remember how broken you felt for something so small? Maybe later as a teenager you were broken on the inside, and you displayed it by dying your hair or getting a tattoo. People just don’t understand how hard you have it.
Broken people aren’t always the ones covered in tattoos, purple hair, and piercings. Broken people look like every single one of us. People who are dying to be loved usually are surrounded by a multitude of people. People who seem to have their crap all together often don’t. People who depend on their physical strength to get through life do that because their emotions would expose their weakness. Each one of us are on a journey through life and we are all trying not to screw up. We put on our happy face, brave face, or maybe our mean face just to get through what is testing us each day.
We are all broken, each one of us, broken.
When times of trials come I retreat inward. I turn off my phone, I ignore social media, and I try to breathe my way through the tough times. During these trials I always know who my friends are. They are the ones calling over and over and when they can’t reach me, they call Daniel. They send cards and maybe even smoke signals. This is a very short list of people to whom I am grateful to have in my life. I don’t know where I would be without their positive words, help, and real friendships in times of struggles. I don’t go to church with these few friends, and they each have very different denominational backgrounds, but the one thing that they have in common is a love of Jesus and a love of people. They show love without expecting anything in return. By their actions they show Christ’s love. Isn’t that how every Christian should behave?
If “we” are the church and “we” see someone floundering shouldn’t “we” come beside that person during their trials and help them work through their troubles or at minimum be there to hold their hand to show that we care?
“We” don’t though.
Instead we’d rather look from the outside and judge their life while we sit in our glass palace that we try to hold together by using any means necessary. I’m exasperated at the media for casting a negative light on Christians for being unloving, judgmental, condemning, and so on. Furthermore, I’m exasperated that it is true. I might have wondered why people feel that way but it only takes a quick peek into a church to see what the media is talking about. It’s not all churches and it’s not all Christians but it’s enough to give us ALL a bad name.
I’m in one of the best times of my life, and while this time excites me, I’m heartbroken seeing some of my friends in the fight of their lives. This is the part where I get to decide if I am really “The Church”. You see, the Church is a group of people who are called to love no matter what the circumstance dictates.
Luke 6:27-31: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
According to the Bible, we should love our enemies and do good things to those who hate us. The issue with the collective “we” is that we can’t even be kind to those who don’t hate us! Why is that? Why is it that forgiveness which is so easy to come by from the Lord is completely foreign for us (the church) to give? Why can’t we stand beside our friends in times of need and then be there when they are rejoicing after the pain is gone? Are we too selfish to be able to give to people emotionally? When was the last time that you saw a brother or sister in need whether you knew them or not and gave your time, energy, or even money to them? Isn’t that what we should be about?
Each one of us are broken and journeying through this life through the good and bad times. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have people to stand with you during all of those times? Wouldn’t it be amazing to change the media’s take on Christians by doing what we should have been doing all along? I encourage you today to meet a need in someone’s life. Not only will it change their life, it will change yours as well.