but even if…

Hope

Are You Broken or Bent?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about brokenness.

There was a pop song awhile back (by Pink & Nate Ruess) that contained the lyric “we’re not broken, just bent…” I found that idea so intriguing, but wasn’t sure what the Lord was saying to me through it.

Sometimes Christianese terms like “brokenness” start to feel trite after a while and it’s good to step back and reexamine. Typically, we tend to equate brokenness with being a mess of some sort – steeped in sin, beaten down by life, etc.

There are even some who have built churches around this theme… “Come, be broken with us.” Somehow this doesn’t sit quite right with me. Not that we can’t admit we’re messed up… I agree we need to recognize our need. But I feel that we get stuck there.

Perhaps our idea of brokenness is bent.

Before You Scratch That Itch…

This morning on the way to school, the kids asked me why God created poison ivy. Not so good at thinking on my feet, and since we were in the car and I couldn’t Google the answer, I fell back on the tried and true (or tired and presumably true) response to these sorts of questions. “Well, kids… it’s a fallen world,” I said, using the prescribed mix of sadness and acceptance in my voice.

The kids said little in response, probably unsatisfied by the stock answer, and I think we changed the subject. I wasn’t sure if I liked my answer, either. I mean, it just leaves you with sort of a slump. And, left incomplete, it doesn’t paint God as the hero He is, which is something I always want to help highlight for my kids.

So as I drove home and made my morning coffee, I asked God more about it. And that’s how I found out that God can speak through anything. Even poison ivy. (Spoiler alert: I don’t mean in the burning bush sense, so if you’re picturing a talking plant vine, it wasn’t quite like that.)

Le Pain & Whine Transformed… Part deux :)

I once waited tables at a fancy-pants restaurant that boasted on its wine cellar full of dusty bottles the elite could swirl and sip for about the same price-tag as three months of rent for me. During a wine-tasting training session I was offered a $50 swig. I enjoyed wine and was excited to sample this luxury, which in the end tasted a lot like licking a tree. “Mmmm, oakey.” So take the following treatise on wine for what it’s worth, coming from a girl who’s had more boxed wine than bottled. But before you write me off as completely uncouth, I do believe what you put the wine in does matter. My Man taught me that.

Le Pain & Whine Transformed (Part 1 of 2)

I remember thinking the French spelling for bread (my favorite guilty pleasure) was quite appropriate—le pain. Caught up in the woe-is-me culture of the nineties, I also indulged in whine, that is, wine (and its many bar-mates). I’d unknowingly created a warped version of the modern communion meal: Le pain dipped in whine. But Jesus wasn’t even on my radar— my eyes were on myself. Worse yet, I was looking at a caricature of myself that I’d created by imagining what everyone else thought of me.

Whaddaya Get the Guy Who’s Got the World?

Even better than a membership to the Jelly-of-the-Month Club, Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. And I’ve let too many years go by in the spirit of Clark W. Griswold, not appreciating what I’ve been given, having already spent more than I can afford. Yes, Jesus probably already has everything He needs… but so do I. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

Nothing More to Want

Shall not want? Is this possible? In our culture? Flesh wants. It wants approval and food and decadence and material things and, and, and… a list a mile long. It has a lot of things it has no business wanting. But…

But That Is Not All…

Jesus, the worthy Lamb, was made like us “in every way.” He gets how hard it is to be human. He gets you. When you lose your temper, He understands. When you’re scared, He knows that emotion. When you’re tempted, He’s lived through that too. God could have sat on His throne and condemned us for not living up to His standards, but instead He went to great lengths to reach out to us, to know us, and to make Himself known more intimately than ever before. Jesus is our bridge over troubled waters—our ladder between this life and the next. He is the Alpha-Omega, A-Z, Root and Vine, Author and Word, Divine Warrior and Prince of Peace—King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Be-all and End-all.

Good Enough?

We needn’t think too much of ourselves, but neither too little. For we are His creations, and who are we to be discontent with what God has made? Or with the lives we’ve been given? He is in control and as we yield to Him, I believe we’ll know just when to say good enough. And not in a Stewart Smalley, “I’m good enough, smart enough,” focused on man’s approval kind of way, but instead because, doggone it… God likes me.