the nuanced narrative of God...
This was an email I sent to a friend today...I only post it cause I think it may strike a fairly universal chord out there. You ever felt alone only to find out you're in the 99 percentile? I have...
I think you think you're more unique in your feelings than you are. This email you sent me is probably the sentiments of the majority of people that pile into church each weekend. I think alot of people long for more than what they're experiencing, but don't know how to actualize their dreams. I think people in general are lonely as all get out...starving for friendships, but immobilized as to how to initiate something meaningful. Insecurities and disappointments and failures and abandonment from the past all contribute to a standoffish faith with standoffish friendships. I know, for me, friendship is always a constant struggle. I have deep feelings and probably a heightened set of expectations and longings as it relates to friendship that make me wrestle with questions of whether I'll even have a best friends that I can completely be myself with and share similar longings and enjoyments. But I think this is common to man as I listen to the hearts of so many...we just all think we're alone.
I know that you think you're an outsider and that so many others are insiders. But again, I think that is a perception more than a reality. Most people feel like outsiders, looking from the outside in on everyone else's apparent joy and relaxation and fulfillment. But the person they are looking at is feeling like they, too, are standing on the outside wishing for more, but settling for less. It's really a perception, perspective issue in my opinion and until we know the truth of what God sees and feels and wants and commands...we all will continue to feel tentative and tense about the state of life and our state of being and state of mind in the midst of it.
I've heard the phrase...let life come to you...but I think this is a misnomer. You must go after life again. It will not come to you. People will not come to you. Chances are, they will not jump first or talk first or ask first or want first....you will have to go after life with all you got or you will sink deeper into the slough of despond and the isolation that comes with it. You have to happen to life...not wait for life to happen to you. It is all around you beckoning you to take the risk again. And it is a risk...you have been hurt. Hurt by your dad, your friends, your church, your family...heck, probably even your wife and kids if the truth be known. It's impossible to go through life and not sustain injury from each of these parties...but God can resurrect. Read 2 Cor. 1:8-11...he can raise the dead and deliver.
I know that..because he has to do that every day and every week for me. I have choices to back away and just let go...or press in and press on. It's not easy...it's really hard. The hurt reminds me of the risk. But the risk reminds me of the reward. And the reward reminds me of the release. And that is what I experience when I go after life...release. A release from the bonds that hold me back and hold me down. I want this for you.
This is what I'm praying for today.
for myself, for you...
nothing less will do.
And so the story goes...and the goings on of each life represent the goings on of just about every life. I can do nothing but fearfully and fearlessly tell the ongoing story, for within its nuanced narrative are found the colors and whispers and textures of God. And his story is something beautiful...