Everyone Hurts

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The one thing we all seem to have in common is the experience of hurt and pain. Look no further than the first story on any news website or newspaper and it will more than likely be detailing some kind of tragic event happening here or abroad. In our own circle of friends we are aware of those going through trials and tribulations, struggling to make to the next day. Even we, if we are honest, go through things almost daily. And yet, if you look at our social media pages and see us on the street, it would seem as if everything is OK. No one wants to take off the mask for fear of being seen and judged for who they really are. And what are we? Sinful humans devastatingly affected by creation’s fall from grace. The Bible calls all of us dust, here today, gone tomorrow. But if hurting is so common, then why is it so rarely spoken of?

Sadly, this type of mindset even sneaks its way into the church. I am a part of a ministry at my church that caters specifically to people struggling with their personal brokenness and the effects from it. It’s not at all uncommon to hear someone walk up and say “Hi, I’ve been cheating on my spouse for years and I’m hiding an alcohol and depression problem.” Now at first that may seem very weird. No one goes up to strangers and immediately talks about the issues they go through. But if the venue was instead an ER unit, would we not expect people to walk up and explain the exact nature of what is hurting? No one would look at them strangely or ask why they were doing that. Because an ER is a place that hurting people are expected to be hurt. Because physical pain exists, so do ERs. And because spiritual pain exists, God has raised up the church through Jesus to be a place of healing for brokenness. And yet Sunday after Sunday we line the halls of the sanctuary with fake smiles, half-hearted “how are you”s, feigned I’m-doing-fine’s, entering and leaving as if we are ok. But we aren’t, are we. Sometimes our world crashed and burned on Saturday night, and we can’t be expected to act like it didn’t on Sunday morning. We were not meant to act like things are ok. We were not meant to act like we have everything put together. Because in doing so, we are acting like we don’t need a Savior.

In Mark 2 we find Jesus being Jesus again. He just shut the Pharisees down by forgiving a paralytic man of his sins and telling him to rise and walk. Afterwards Jesus calls Levi, the tax collector, to follow Him. He goes to Levi’s house and is found by the Pharisees hanging out with tax collectors and an assortment of other sinners. Not learning their lesson the first time, the Pharisees ask among themselves why He would do such a thing. This is what Jesus replied in verse 17: “ And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (ESV). Jesus is telling them one of His reasons for coming to Earth. To save sinners. Now the pharisees were sinners too. So wouldn’t Jesus be talking to them as well? Maybe, but there was something that separated the Pharisees from the people Jesus was hanging with. These people hanging with the Messiah knew and admitted they were sinners. When your friend says something like “I know I’m going to hell man”, that’s the kind of person Jesus came for. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were white-washed tombs, trying their best to look pretty on the outside but full of maggots and rot on the inside. And that is exactly what we are when we try to act like everything is fine. We are essentially saying we don’t need Jesus. We are saying that we aren’t one of those that Jesus came for. We are saying we don’t need salvation. Before you think that’s a stretch to say, look at the verse again. He said the healthy don’t need a doctor. But we established earlier that we are all broken, a notion confirmed again later in Romans 3:23, that we have all fallen short of the standard of holiness and God’s glory. None of us are healthy in and of ourselves. So in a sense, everyone is broken. But not everyone knows or will admit it. Jesus came for the ones that know and will acknowledge it. You do yourself only harm to walk around this earth and act like your life isn’t on fire sometimes. And in doing so you negate yourself from seeing the amazing work of God as the ultimate Firefighter. Jesus came to save. Let Him save you.

Here are 3 things on being broken:

We are all broken – We all can agree we are not perfect. And if we can admit that, then we can admit that we are all broken to some degree. The faster we can admit that, the faster we can stop walking around with these ugly caricature masks of our real selves. When sin entered the world, everything was fractured. We are descendants of that event. It’s ok to not be ok, because none of us are really ever fully ok.

Our being broken connects us to Christ – Christ knows what it’s like to deal with the broken state of this world. Although without sin, He undoubtedly walked this Earth fully aware of how far from Heaven He was. He smelled the difference in the air, stepped on the unevenness of the ground, and felt the instability of the temperature. He felt it all. He has seen tears and cried His own. He has watched grief in others and suffered from it Himself. He has felt isolation, rejection, anxiety, even death. He knows how broken we are. And He knows He defeated our brokenness. Don’t be like Adam. Don’t hide your brokenness when God calls. Instead, limp towards Christ with it.

Tell someone – I know it may seem like we don’t have people in our life that seem willing to listen to our junk. But I have learned from experience that once we start sharing, it’s contagious. And we see quickly that we are not alone but instead that we all share the common thread of brokenness even if our pieces break differently. If you are a child of God, there is no condemnation for sin anymore. You are free to share and be known fully. Christ is now our hope. There is no need to despair in isolation.

As the church, the body, let’s be more hospital than courtroom. Let us be a place that welcomes brokenness, not because we have the answers or the ability to deal with it, but because we have the permission to drag every weight to the foot of the cross. Everyone hurts. Let’s start acting like it.

My Lament

 

God, where are you. I know this happens in every other country. And I know that it’s not uncommon. But I’m hurt. You are God. You sit High above the Heavens and condescend to me like a good Father. You know I am dust. You know what I can handle. I’m shook Father. I’m scared. I’m confused. I’m caught between compassion and empathy and anger and sadness. Where are you? I know you are here. But why? What am I missing? What are we missing? Please heal this pain. You always have a plan. You always have a purpose. One that glorifies you. One that ends for our good. I don’t see how you are glorified in this. How can I be a light? Where is healing? Where is the end of suffering? I know fully not in this life, but should I not pray for it now? Should I not ask you to heal? Life is lost. Anger is present. Grief is working. The enemy is active. God hide me. You are a Father, knowing His kids are frantic and fearful. You are a stronghold and tower of refuge in the time of trouble. You are a hiding place. You are a fair and just judge. Bring justice. Protect the innocent. Bring to light the guilty. Provide fairness and equality in a way the magnifies Your name. Heal our hurt; be present in our pain. Please, answer our questions; quiet our confusion; calm our doubt. We need you God. I’m listening. What are you saying? Why are you silent? Please answer. Please don’t withhold from us You. I need you. I want justice. I want your Justice. Even if that means I go too. I’m tired of justice being in the hands of sinful men including myself. I just want You. This world needs you. DFW needs you. Philando Castile’s family needs you; Alton Sterling’s family needs you. We need you. We don’t need more articles, blogs, sermons, speeches, I just want You. I gotta have You. I’m scared without you Father. I’m confused without your guidance. Make me sensitive to your prompting. Take this pain away. Heal us wholly. Complete us Father. Fill our void. Quench our sinful anger and replace it with righteous indignation. Make us care about life again. You are the bread of life and Living Water. All life starts and ends with you. Helps us see that. Helps us care. This world needs you. I need you. They need you, even if they don’t see it. Give them You even if they don’t want it. I’m tired Lord. I don’t know my
lot in the world anymore. I’m fully convinced this isn’t my home. I’m fully aware I don’t belong here. I’m here for Your sake, to shine the light you’ve given me. But I’m tired; I’m ready to leave. I’m ready to be with you. I don’t deserve to be with You but You delight over me and call me Your Inheritance. I want You. And if don’t, help me to want You. I want healing; I want justice; I want peace; I want love. And all those are found in you. Help Lord. Come Lord. Heal Lord. Provide Lord. Help.