I'll admit it

March 19, 2014

I think I have a messianic complex. Am I delusional? Some may argue yes, I still claim no. Do I believe that I am Jesus? By no means. But in a very real, and often disappointing way, I see suffering and problems around me and somehow think that I can be the one that fixes it… that alleviates suffering… that heals the wounds of others… that saves. That’s a pretty ambitious task. And if my memory serves me right, there is only One who has done that, and is able to that.

I write this seriously questioning whether the fact that I throw myself head-first into these situations is out of my pompousness or compassion. Indeed, if God has in fact called His people to be “successful” (whatever that means), then my track record is dismal. Relapsed addicts, recurring incarcerations, deportation orders, broken marriages, and tragically much too early deaths have been characteristic of those I walk with in ministry (this might be a warning to stay clear if you see me).

But we’ve been called to be obedient, not successful. Furthermore, I’m not so sure that people are broken objects that need fixed—certainly not by me! And if people are broken, then we are all equally broken and desperate for one another, and God. The ideal of life is not charity, but of solidarity—to come to one another in humbleness to say “I am far to inadequet to heal you, to solve this problem, or to save you… but I will hurt with you, and cry with you, and when the only One who can save you does, I will laugh and dance with you.”

It is here that I’ve learned to appreciate the beautiful paradox… while most people run from suffering and death to preserve their “life” and avoid anything unpleasant or uncomfortable, yet are anything but living. They merely exist as they float through this world numb and impervious to other people.

Real life is strangely found running towards suffering to embrace it full of hope and love.

As Louie Giglio said, “God has not called you to fill someone else’s cup. He’s simply called you to empty your own.”

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