Last year I had a fight with a friend. We had been leading up to this disagreement in increments and I had been blind as to just how deep the cracks in our friendship went. It ended with us parting ways in anger and tears.
Things have not returned to normal. Life has gotten busy, I have been stubborn, we have both been prideful. I’m not sure how to balance my hurt with forgiveness and reconciliation. We have both carried on, living parallel lives and have let silence and lingering resentment fill the gap between us.
This brokenness weighs on me. I beat myself up for failing to be an adequate testimony of Christ’s grace. For not embracing love and seeking reconciliation. I have a lingering fear that this brokenness will lead to a pattern of fractured relationships and untapped potential.
I am afraid that I leave behind me a trail of mindless consumption and a wasteland of hurt.
Sometimes the weight of that last thought is too much.
As I journey through Lent this year, my imagination has been captured by image of the Last Supper. Specifically the image of Jesus in the presence of Judas, the juxtaposition of the Betrayed and the Betrayer.
Jesus, the Son of God, stumbled and fell under the weight of His present reality even though He was walking in the will of God.
Throughout the scriptures we see Jesus rushing into conflict. He flips tables at the temple, attends to a family who have just lost their daughter, heals a man on the Sabbath, and now here He is yet again in the presence of the man who will sell Him out for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus didn’t shy away when things got tough. He didn’t find some reoccurring religious reason to distance himself from the hurting and the broken. He didn’t run to the mountain tops every time something didn’t seem right. He sat there, in the brokenness, in the grief, in the pain, and in the confusion. Where life is messiest is where He can be found.
We have a legacy of a Saviour who struggled and fell under the weight of His Cross. Our Saviour, with his face in the mud, was no stranger to heartbreak and turmoil. He was a man well acquainted with sorrow, and the heaviness of the human heart. Jesus, the Son of God, stumbled and fell under the weight of His present reality even though He was walking in the will of God.
Sometimes we think that faith will save us, that it will create some shield to block the slings and arrows of this life, but if that were true then my friend and I could just work things out. There would be no hurt feelings, no complications, words could be scooped up and put back into our mouths, and we could speak peace into the deafening silence. Instead, I think that faith is an invitation to meet Jesus where life is the most uncomfortable. It is an invitation to have Him soothe our wounds in the present, while they are fresh, before they scar and mangle.
If our faith is in Jesus, then it will lead us into dark places, it will bring us to places of heaviness and struggle. Living in the light of God means living in the reality of the hardness of life, and right now that means learning to rejoice within frayed relationships. It means taking an honest look at how I consume and treat those around me. It means learning to live in the tension of what is hoped for and where things currently sit. It is learning that though things are not perfect, there are bandages, grace, and time. It is trusting that as I draw near to Jesus, He will embrace me as I am when life gets too heavy.
Our Saviour, broken and pierced, struggled and died in the presence of those who loved Him and those who betrayed Him. He welcomed conflict because His grace was, is, and will always be sufficient enough for all of ourselves, including (and maybe even, especially for) the parts marred by brokenness and mess.