I’ve been in a quest for authenticity. Within myself and how I respond to others. I desire to respond in truth and love. I want to put my whole self out there. I want others to know I’ve been there. I’ve been in the depths of despair. I’ve visited the pinnacle of pain. I’ve built the bastions of bitterness. I’ve camped out at the Altar of Anger. And there are days I still do. So, I desire for us who are in Christ and of Christ to put aside the pat answers:
“The Lord never gives you more than you can handle.”
“The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
“It must have been God’s will.”
And respond instead with the truth and the times in our life when we’ve been in pain. I had a friend share with me tonight that she’s in despair. Instead of giving a pat answer I shared with her my painful thoughts during my times of despair:
“Lord, this is too much. I can’t handle this.”
“Lord, you’ve made a mistake.”
“Lord, I’m angry with you!”
I told my friend that I absolutely believe we are given more than we can handle at times. I told her that I didn’t believe any of my thoughts were sins. After all, He is God!!! He made me. He created me! He knows me better than ANYONE!! He made me the way I am and then put me in a situation that caused pain. Who better to express that pain to? Who am I supposed to share my bitterness and anger with other than the VERY ONE WHO MADE ME? I have said it before and I will say it again.
My God is big enough to handle my emotions.
He is big enough for my pain, my fear, my doubts and my anger. I share them with Him first. We are not doing anyone any favors by pretending we have all the answers. I certainly don’t. I don’t have any idea why my friend is going through her trials. She, quite frankly, has been through enough. God already know how she feels. Why try to hide? Why go to someone else? He already knows. Because He knows her heart.
I believe shared pain is better than pat answers. I’ve never lost a child. But I cannot imagine what I would do if someone were to tell me that it was God’s will that my child had died. The loss of any loved one is a terrible thing. I can only imagine what the loss of a child is like. The last thing that person needs is a pat “christian” answer. “I don’t know why this happened to you” is a perfectly acceptable thing to say under painful circumstances.
We all need to know we are not alone. We need to build a community. In our homes and in our churches. We need to shed the mask of who we are not and reveal who we really are. To promote unity. To build confidence. To shed light. If we really desire to be the light of the world then we must be authentic.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44535011@N07/15593114028″>Weeping Alone</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>