Tag Archives: messy

words are sharp and shiny things

Words are sharp and shiny things, and I am good with them. I always have been. I can twist and shape them into whatever form I wish. I can take you places and bring you back; I can make you feel things and ask questions and draw pictures and crave adventures.

Words are sharp and shiny things, and I am good with them. But I have learned to wield them reverently. I’m good with words in the same way I would imagine a sniper is good with his rifle, holding it with a healthy dose of both adrenaline and fear, because he knows that what he holds has the power to decimate anyone in its path.

Words are sharp and shiny things, and I am good with them. I am also terribly afraid of them. Because I know my words, the words close enough to my chest to be called mine. They aren’t easy ones, to write or to hear. They might be packaged neatly, but there is no resolution. I won’t ever give you a conclusion, and the loose ends don’t sit comfortably.

Because the words close enough to my chest to be called mine aren’t even completely mine. They are mine, but they’re also the words of at least five different people, from five separate conversations that have taken place in the past month. They’re also the words that I haven’t heard, but have seen in the eyes of more people than I can count. Words that don’t get a voice because they’re terrifying, and they can plunge a person into a rabbit hole that may cost more than they’re ready to pay.

If the North American church is a true reflection of who God is…

It feels a little bit like God doesn’t have space for messy people, for broken people, for lamenting people.

It feels a little bit like all God wants to hear when He asks how I am is “Great! How are you?” And then for me to be on my way.

It feels a little bit like God doesn’t want my love and affection as much as He does my blind and unquestioning acceptance.

It feels a little bit like I need to be successful and happy to belong to God. 

It feels a little bit like issues of race and poverty and slavery and gender and sexuality only matter to God so far as they can be dealt with as “issues” rather than dealing with the messiness of the real, vulnerable people behind the issues.

If the North American church is a true reflection of who God is…

…then I’m afraid that God maybe wants nothing to do with me. And I’m not positive I want anything to do with Him.

And if all of that isn’t true, if it’s my perception that’s flawed…

Who IS God? And what does He care about? And where do I find Him? And how do I reflect Him? What is my responsibility in this? How do I love like Jesus does, in real life and real time?

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tiny blue teacup

I love that little teacup.

It is, by far, the most fragile one I own. I have no doubt that if I were to drop it, it would shatter. The lip of it isn’t round, and it’s not square; it’s a little misshapen and uneven, with not a straight edge to be found anywhere on it. The design on the outside is really lovely, in various shades of blue and white, but it’s mismatched and patchy and a little messy. The handle is placed awkwardly low on the bowl, so a full cup requires two hands.

It’s not symmetrical, or flawless, or anything you’d expect from a well-crafted china teacup.

But it does have one big thing going for it; fortunately, the one thing it does well is the one thing it’s supposed to do well. It embraces and holds and keeps space for whatever, whenever.

And I love it.

Because it’s me, and it’s all the messy, unexpectedly beautiful people I love the most.  Fragile, with uneven edges and its fair share of design quirks. But I’m learning slowly that there’s beauty in nothing more than embracing and holding and keeping space.

The one thing we do well is the one thing we’re supposed to do well, I suppose.

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