I wasn’t going to post for a while but came across this song and explanation that I so resonate with….. being authentic and finding churches and Christians where struggles are embraced as part of life – for all of us in different seasons. So often I have found people prefer to hear ‘fine’ and if one expresses disappointment or anger… silence follows….. “Just get over it” is usually a mantra for those on the edges or distant. We move on together when the one struggling gives the thumbs up to move on.
This is so relevant for Jesus’ resurrection appearances. He embraced Mary at the tomb with her fears and tears. He broke through walls and repeatedly met with disciples as they absorbed their failures, his amazing resurrection, and what now? He spent time on the road to Emmaus allowing two disciples to express their ‘we had hoped’ – before explaining what had happened. And of course he responded to Thomas’s courageous doubts in the face of significant peer pressure to shut up and trust what others told him was true. Jesus heard his cry and responded; as he will for you and me.
We don’t need to fix each other as soon as a struggle is expressed. We don’t need to feel the responsibility to provide solutions at the snap of a finger. Just listen, damn it! 🙂 Coffee and listening over a matter of weeks/time expresses friendship, kindness, and support. Perhaps ways forward may emerge as a bonus and surprise, who knows?
The truths Jesus spoke and taught were wrapped in relationships where those who wanted to follow, but struggled, were given room to breathe, question, stumble, and work things out. In my fifty years I have not seen or experienced nearly enough of this quality of relationship in churches, leadership, among Christians. I want to advocate for more and encourage us to keep growing in being ok with messy process. It’s so liberating, attractive, and hope-filled. Quoting biblical truths to people who are struggling is about as helpful as baking cakes with sawdust.
Here’s the song followed by an explanation for writing it. No condemnation because we’re all part of the problem, and can also be a great part of an even better solution. Happy after Easter….