On Monday...I invited you into a moment of nostalgia, reminiscing and reliving your life like watching the old reel-to-reel movies.
And amid the moments that bring smiles to our face, most of us have moments of disappointments and shattered dreams. Most of us don't start our stories by saying, "Well, I was born awesome and I have just gotten better every day." And those who do, I don't find very interesting. The traces of grace in my life don't always come when the lights are on and laughter is easy. The traces of grace are the threads that refuse to snap, keep holding me, even when all my resources are gone.
Amid the kickball stories of summers ago...are moments of brokenness.
These include moments of individual brokenness ~ I say something bonehead that hurts another, I do something less than brilliant...in those moments of exhaustion or frustration or when I have processed the pain of an experience so I pass it along to the next available person.
These include moments of communal brokenness ~ the ways this current COVID crisis is exposing the cracks in health care, government, unemployment. In the midst of crisis is when our truest character often is shown...because our usual pace of life is thrown off.
To be sure, most of us would rather not deal with our shadow side. We tend to see brokenness only for its negativity. Yet, more and more I hold onto the truth that someone once said, "No one learns anything meaningful after the age of 30 by doing it right." The brokenness can actually be a breaking open to new possibilities and new life, if we are willing to be vulnerable.
I have sensed that within me in the last few weeks. There is the pull between, "Just keep on, keeping on ~ cling to the ways I've always done things ~ just tweak here and there." And moments when I realize what I called, "Normal" will not be a state I return. To live in the messiness of that unknowness and less-than-perfectness...which is at the heart of the Easter faith.
In the days after Easter, Jesus didn't give the disciples a 5 year plan. Jesus didn't leave them with a building. They were trying to process their confusion and concerns about whether they were up to being the bearers of good news. We are trying to pray our confusion and concerns about whether we are up to the challenge of still proclaiming that God is here, even in the midst of brokenness ~ heart ache.
Today, I invite you to name and notice the places where there is brokenness...to sit with that word in your own life...even with all of its uncomfortable-ness. I believe that there are traces of grace to be found especially in times when we don't have everything put together and life has gone off the rails. It is still called Easter...this season of our life right now.
Grace and peace to you now more than ever.