So much of what I have been writing on this season has been giftedness: how you are a gift, and the importance of welcoming the gifts of others. I hope for whatever reasons it is clear to you at least some of what you bring to relationships and how you contribute to the world. But of course there is other the other side of the coin. Some of us live in constant if not overwhelming fear that it is our weakness, our darkness that comes through, or is at least just below the surface. Here is why that is not a problem…
Christians believe that your deepest core, beneath everything, else is not a dark place,but the best of who you are. The Christian story says you are made by God out of God’s abundant love, in fact you might say you are an echo of God. What the souls longs for is the same thing God longs for, to be together.
It is easy to believe these weaknesses, from our perspective, can be the end of us. For some people, they are. With a little help, however, its often the cracked parts, your brokenness that lets your deepest self, the part that looks most like God, to shine through.
I don’t think it means we should go around smashing ourselves to bits. In fact doing so only makes us calloused and harder to get out. I just think it means that instead of spending all of our energy avoiding our weaknesses or trying to bandage them up or exploit them, we do well to simply nurture that deepest part of who we are, the part that looks most like God. As that part grows and expands the first thing to go, the areas where your best self first comes through, is where the weaknesses were.
We are loved infinitely. You are loved relentlessly, unwaveringly For that very reason we can descend to the places of our greatest fears and just be aware of the love of God that has been there all along. This is all the better if you bring good people there with you, even if its just little by little.
Part of the Christian story says, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God.” II Corinthians 4.
The light is already in you. We just just need to spend more time with the light than with the fears we give so much energy to. The hope, is that the place of our greatest fear and pain can end up the places where we offer the most, the call out the most of the people in our lives. OUr weaknesses become the places where we are most open to loving others, most compassionate, and the least afraid of who other people are, for they too are loved infinitely and you know something about what that means.
This is my personal experience that my pain and failures make no one else’s pain unfamiliar to me. I can see how loved you are, even if I can’t always act like it. It continues to be the greatest challenge and joy of my spiritual life.
So God uses crack(ed) pots. and if you can’t believe this, find someone who can believe it for you and go with you where you need to go. In the mean time, I will will hold that hope for you.