Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Leaving Here, Living Now

I have a list of things I want to post about here, but alas, am not finding the time to do so right now. 

When nap time rolls around I usually pack a few boxes, get started on dinner, check email for a minute, pick up from the morning's tornado, etc, etc, etc. I want to make time. I will.

Thank you to those of you who've sent such thoughtful emails regarding our move. I appreciate you so much. 

Speaking of the move, I'm in mourning over leaving our current home. Two friends came over to help me pack a few nights ago. One was sentimental like me and understood that I didn't want to pack away pictures frames and meaningful home decor until the day before we left so that the house would feel home-y as long as possible. The other friend wouldn't hear of such nonsense and started ripping frames off the wall and had them boxed up before I could stop her. She won, and the living room looks like a barren cave. I guess I need friends like her for packing to be a success.

And speaking of friends, I'm regretting all the neighbors I haven't gotten to know on our street, or at least gotten to know well. Which lead me to write today's post over at MomHeart...

Neon Green Duct Tape for Shattered Windows

Through my kitchen window I see the back of my neighbor’s house. There aren’t privacy fences in our neighborhood, leaving us all exposed.
The three windows that line the back are all broken. One is shattered, still intact but resembling a huge spider web. The other two are taped together haphazardly with neon green duct tape.
The exterior of the home reflects the reality inside: brokenness.
If the walls inside could talk they’d tell of abandonment, near-death experiences, police visits, confusion, substances, and tears. They would tell the story of a single mom trying for years to support her single daughter and young grandson.
Within five minutes of over-the-fence chatting, you know the painful state of things. Sometimes deep brokenness leads to seclusion; sometimes it clambers in desperation for anyone who will listen. Our neighbor is driven towards the latter.
Her grandson routinely hops the little fence to play and we enjoy having him. Not a conversation goes by that he doesn’t wishfully mention the next time he might see his dad.
As I wash dishes and peer out back through the window I think about brokenness, hidden and exposed. Some of us go to great extents to hide it; others cover very little. The neon green tape holding the window pieces together is striking.
I think back on the lines I’ve repeated often since becoming a mother:
 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The jagged edges and sharp cracks within each of us need mending. Instead, we usually work deliberately to obscure the brokenness for the sake of appearance. We’re too careful and experienced to employ the overly-obvious tape. We may be shattered on the inside but we’d never want it amplified on the outside.
The truth, though, is that Jesus loves transparency. It’s an invitation, a cry for help, admission to the broken places. It lacks pretense and cover-up. And that’s where he belongs. That’s why he came and died; to heal the broken places. He’s not afraid or repulsed. He hops the fence, walks right up to the window and offers a hand, no matter what dangers may await, no matter how unpredictable the interior may be.
If we’re following Jesus closely, we’re likely to find ourselves standing uncomfortably at neighbors broken windows. The chards and splintering pieces announce an opportunity to be part of God’s provision for that person. And our comfort zones will most likely be wrecked.
Life lived in Christ is one of openness, community, and authenticity. It means exposing our own disorders and moving our weakness out of the shadows. Vulnerability, humility and dependence erect a lampstand from which the penetrating and transforming power of Christ shines most brilliantly.