Things like a global pandemic really have a way of triggering our mental health. Uncertainty about the future, financial insecurity, and loneliness are just a few current issues that can increase things like stress, anxiety, and depression.If you’re in the group that feels guilty because life is actually pretty good for you right now, it’s […]
Joseph and his very pregnant wife took a long road trip to pay the IRS. Stargazing hippies were following something like a UFO, hoping for incredible news. When Mary and Joseph finally arrived, there was no food in the deep freeze, and the hotel was at capacity.
Jesus wasn’t born in a cheap motel, or a stranger’s bedroom. The Savior was born to an unwed, pregnant teenage girl in a stable, echoing with the sounds of farm animals. It must have smelled terrible. This was not the triumphant arrival the Jews hoped for. Only three people even noticed the birth of Christ. They showed up later with gold, frankincense and myrhh. I bet Mary and Joseph were hoping for moose and halibut too, but you take what you can get when your baby was just born in a barn.
Sounds pretty chaotic, right?
Christmas is nearly here and if you take a look around your own stable, you may find some chaos, maybe a few asses, too.
Together, we are living in the gaps.
With the tension of unfulfilled dreams.
With the heartache of loss and the sickness of deferred hope.
Somewhere along the way, we run right into that painful space between what is and what should be. We hope for relationships, for children, for jobs. We long for healed bodies and souls, a better future, just a taste of success. Sometimes, we simply long to know we matter.
And maybe, just maybe, we’re all looking for friends for this journey. Maybe we’re looking to laugh and cry and make sense of this life with others who won’t make us feel ashamed of our pieces. Maybe we’re looking for hope that a life of soul holes and unfulfilled dreams can still be joyful and meaningful.
Have you ever been cut off by a friend? I don’t mean moving away and slowly disconnecting. I am talking about a sharp, intentional separation, from friendship to…not.
It’s happened to me twice in the past six months. I get it. I’ve been become more vocal than ever in sharing honestly who I am, who I want to be, and what I believe. I am learning to be vulnerable, but that doesn’t make me invincible. The pain of losing a true friend cuts deep. In both situations, I lost a friend I had shared deep parts of my soul with– both past sins and future dreams. They were kind of friends you’d lend money or drop everything to rescue from the side of the highway. Vacations with your families kind of friendships. And now they are over.
Why? One word I have grown to hate…
In times when I see someone I care about struggling, my default is to revert to my old ways of thinking. My “savior complex” kicks into overdrive and I have to stop myself from looking for the nearest phone booth to change from suit to superhero. Often, I hear some cherry-picked Scripture in my head and think how easy it would be to give a sense of hope that everything will magically be alright, just around the next bend.
But not everyone is looking for a Super Christian. Not really.