Wednesday, August 30, 2006
When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway (Romans 7:19, NLT)
A few days ago I was hanging out with my friend and her two and a half year old son. After a little bit of an event where he thought he shouldn’t put his pajamas on, he came out of his room crying a little bit. He said to me, “I’m sad.”
I said, “Why are you sad?”
He said, “Because I am not cooperating.”
Now it could be that he was just sad because he figured that his un-cooperative attitude meant that I wouldn’t be reading a story for him. That was probably part of it. But I think that there was also a struggle within him. He wanted to please his mom but he also wanted to assert his will. He was frustrated by that process.
Oh boy do I ever identify with that. I so want to please God. Sometimes I mess up badly. I don’t listen. I don’t do what I am told. I come out grieved. Not just because of the consequences of my actions but because I have sinned. It is a really terrible feeling.
I think about how I felt so bad for my little buddy. My heart broke for him. I actually got choked up. His mother also instantly forgave him because she understands his struggle. If that is our fully human reaction I can’t imagine how God feels when we are grieved about our own sin. I am comforted by that.
I also imagine what it would have been like if my friend's son would not have been sorry for his actions. Yes we still would love him. We would understand his struggle and that he was very tired. But we wouldn’t have shared that moment together. I wouldn’t have been emotional and grieved with him. I think perhaps that also must be what it is like for God.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I have been thinking about the importance of the phrase ‘me too.’ It is amazing how when you share something about yourself or what you are experiencing, many times you will hear a ‘me too.’ Think about how important that is for you. If you take a risk and share something about who you are, don’t you want someone to say ‘me too?’
The problem with ‘me too’ is that someone has to go first. Often it is very hard to share what you are going through. We usually assume that the other people we are talking to will not understand. I have had a number of experiences when I am being vulnerable that I have been shocked when someone says something to the effect of ‘me too.’
I have also been touched when someone else goes first. Some of the most profound experiences of my life have been listening to someone else’s story when they are sharing something I identify with. All of a sudden I am not alone in my experience.
Whether or not we hear ‘me too,’ I have found it rewarding to share my story with others because they can help me carry that burden. I know it sounds selfish but we are not meant to be alone. Having someone to journey through our stuff with us is how we are built to live. That said I know it is really hard to disclose stuff. I honor people who are willing to go first.