So often I look at my life and think it’s a total mess, and nothing will ever change. But that’s not true – for me, or for you. It is changing – and it has changed…it’s just that, stuck in the detail, that’s hard to see.
I think this is one reason why God puts us in community. I know you struggle. Me too! But our friendship matters. Not because you’ve got solutions or brilliant advice. Because you’re messy. Because you’re real. Because when we talk I feel valued. I’m not by myself. And when you share your life with me, you’re entrusting me with things that can be broken – and have been in the past. I’ll be careful with them. I can’t glue them back, but I won’t drop them either.
When I look at you, I see someone beautiful. Don’t laugh – I want you to hear this. I’m not fooled by the masks or the make-up. (To be honest, they were never that convincing – not to me, or other people. But we needed them, at least to start with). You’re very brave. It’s hard to keep going and it’s hard to keep hoping – but you’re still here and underneath the mess, something wonderful is happening. You can’t see it, but I can. And it’s a privilege to be a part.
I don’t think either of us will be sorted this side of heaven… but that’s ok: I don’t think anyone is. Yet when we look at our old solutions and see they’re not working and feel like we can’t go on: that’s the beginning of hope – not the end. It’s what Paul wrote: “this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9) On my own, I’m never brave enough to face my weakness. But together we can trust the God who works when we’re at the end of ourselves.