Thursday, August 19

Crazy believing, crazy living

“But we have shared this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal body.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 NET

One thing I have discovered in the forty-two, almost forty-three, years of life on this planet, this broken and sinful I-trump-you world is that everyone wants something from you and there comes a point in time where you cannot be what you are and have everyone happy with it.

You aren’t supposed to be continuously broken upon the wounds of your past, where a father hated you so much that he spurned you and isolated you because of the ‘broken’ illness that you had, a sure sign that the gene pool of his loins were damaged at least in part. You aren’t supposed to be traumatized by the departure of your birth mother, leaving you at a store waiting for your father to come pick you up so she can move to Florida because of her new husband’s health issues and you see her ten years later for two or three hours.

You are supposed to, in this new life of Christ, be reborn into a new creature that is free from the diseases and haunting memories of a life you’d rather forget and people that you can only dream of never crossing again. For in this community of life, even in the Christian community of love, joy and peace; such continued brokenness is not allow, is not comfortable and is not talked about. And, daring to be crazy because of those wounds, because of the harshness of life, and to work with the broken nature that has become you….well, that’s crazy and nothing that we ever would allow our leaders be.

In the darkness of our fears, the enemy waits….learning and developing custom strategies to attack us at our weakest, where our greatest fears and our greatest wounds that still bleed within us lie. He knows after a while, as we cradle those fears and nurse those wounds, that we will do everything that we can to protect and shelter them from attack, from pain and definitely from the light of the day where they would be exposed to those who would and could judge us and find us lacking in something, anything, that they can use to make themselves feel better by knowing….by comparing themselves to your brokenness and sinful self-protection.

I will never love well enough because of the wounds that love has left upon my heart; I will never be the complete and heroic father because of the terror caused by my own in the absence of love that showed itself finally a week before he died; I will never be a leader who leads without mistakes, walks without falling because I am not perfect yet.

I will never be healed, because in that healing there is a tendency not to rely on God's power, but forget it in favor of my own.

But something happened to me that day in February, something that has been forever evolving and shaping this man that is sorrowed, is heartbroken and is damaged beyond the capability of man to fix. Something happened that brought me to the place where even in my brokenness there is joy, even in the troubling seas of stormed tossed waves I can experience calm and even in the heartbeat of love’s departure there is a understanding of love’s complete and utter happiness.

What use am I to the body? to those lost and in despair? More than you think, more than you can imagine unless you have walked where I have and overcomed, in a fashion, what I have through the authority and power of God.

Even in this clay jar of humanity which the Spirit is contained, there is a power and understanding that defies its structure. This set of verses, describing the life that I have led and yet, I am still here. Maybe not living life perfectly, overcoming things like clockwork in the ideal world that some Christians want to paint the salvation transformation. But I walk because of the power of Christ that animates my bones in my legs, that beats my heart in time with the flow needed to think, to reason and to care. I live because within me is a hope that doesn’t die, that cannot be altered by the words of others or the mistakes I myself may make. It is independent of me, unable to be purchased by me and totally outside of my ability to effective harness.

But it is mine and leads me to be crazy…..

Because of the death of Christ, that I live in my life, dying each day to sin and being reborn in the light of the Savior, I live crazy and in defiance of the ‘rules’ of this life. There may be a day when I come to the end of it, where to live crazy means I die in the shadows of this world. But until then, there is enough crazy life to live and I will live it.

Crazy, I know that each day is a struggle, that each day may have failures and that the right things you do may never be realized.

But you tend to be crazy once you keep trying despite evidence that you'll have to do it again tommorrow.

Being the best father I can be, forgiving the wounds of my father who himself was wounded. Being the best parent I can be, despite the mother who’s fear made her leave. Being the best man I can be, loving those whom I can love imperfectly perfect and desperately for the time will come when they have to leave and move on. Being the best leader I can be, in the leaderless positions that God puts me in to shine His light and His grace and His mercy.

Crazy, I know.

But, as my friend Kim Cash Tate, Women of Faith speaker and best selling author of Colored in Christ, said:

“Crazy believing is now the heartbeat of my life, but God is showing me what that requires. Crazy obedience, crazy humility, crazy clinging to God...oh, and some crazy praying to keep all that tight. Not easy, y'all. I'm not there...but I really don't want to live any other way.”

I don’t want to be healed because living broken in a broken world makes it easy to be a weak vessel in which God can pour His power and His love for other broken people.

He never said we had to walk across the finish line, just that we have to cross…….
I think I’ll limp with others who simply desire to make it to the finish line.

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