i have written several posts here about our friends, the burks. if you’re just tuning in, they are a married couple, whom, over time have become some of my closest friends at church. they, like all of us, are fallen, broken individuals in need of God’s grace. we helped them with some rehab/treatment and just encouragement. we’ve had some wins and losses, but i’d like to tell you about a big loss that i’ve had.
a few months ago i absolutley had a meltdown. i was just tired. done. finished. with everything. turned out there was some physical stuff going on too—many doctor visits later–but i was in need of some spiritual healing too.
i’ve had several people point out to me lovingly that i was doing too much of this, and life, with my own strength. i still rail against this and bow up to it because i’m having a hard time facing this particular sin. sometimes, my wickedness and depravity is easier for me to sit in…but it’s hard when it involves people you really care for deeply. which, therein lies the sin. it’s not up to me to ‘make them better’ or even ‘jack them up.’ if i’m truly doing what God calls, i’m just an empty vessel. our friend richard tells the story of helping his dad change the spark plugs in the car when he was little. richard’s job was just to hold the old spark plugs as they came out of the car. he wasn’t really doing anything, but he was participating. that’s all any of us have to do–just participate with God.
i’m still working through what repentance looks like in this. while i just want to bury my head and close my eyes, i know that turning away from this and letting jesus change me (because he changes EVERYTHING) is what will give me life. why is that SO hard? life is awesome! even confessing all of this to kelly, just took everything i had because i don’t want to be wrong. i don’t want to be the one to have to say, ‘i messed up. i’m being a prideful punk.’
i have a lot of people in my community who care for me. sometimes it’s hard to see why. especially during these times when i act like a total brat. but i think it must always be harder on the receiving end of love. i have learned a lot about community in the past two years—i’ve seen it bring life, be a catalyst for Jesus’ work, and nuture some really amazing relationships that reflect God’s love. without community, i’m in isolation–and man does it get lonely, dark…ugly…destructive in there.
but my community cares for me because of Jesus. He first loved us. that is enough. we don’t have to earn His love, or work for it…He doesn’t love us second, and He doesn’t love us because we love Him first. He loves us, bottom line, whether we reciprocate it or not. our love to others is an outpouring of His love for us. it’s crazygood. and my community calls me out and checks in on me because they love. we have a saying that goes around soma that, ‘i care about your holiness mroe than your happiness.’ i’m really glad this is true. i honestly don’t know how people deal with stuff alone, and without discipline.
and as i finish up this post i find myself encouraged and refreshed in His love. wow! let this be a testament of confession and reflection–Jesus does change everything…even blog posts. :)