Last night I was reminded of something I had sort of forgotten, at least I had let the dynamic nature of the way it affected my relationships with others dim somewhat.
The vast majority of the people I know have stories, hurts and carry burdens I know nothing about.
I guess I don’t know the people I know.
There are people that I have known for years who, unless I establish a deep level of trust and prove my willingness to share in their pain, that are just revealing the very shallowest level of vulnerability.
Of course, I make assumptions about them, that they are stronger than I am, that they are more emotionally stable, that they don’t have the capacity to understand my pain and my flaws.
Those assumptions tend to be wrong.
I’ve found that men I take the time to sit down with, remove the walls between us brick by brick revealing the ugly truth, are much more like me than I often admit. There are raw emotions that long to be set free, hurts that need soothing and words that need to be spoken.
There are fears that need to be put out in the light where they can be dismantled or at least seen by a posse of cowboys as a challenge rather than hidden away in the darkness where it becomes a monster that haunts until it becomes bigger than the place it dwells.
Sometimes, this is what makes a man or woman transform from having lost themselves to emerging into what they can become.
I need to look at what these things have done for me and take the time to enable others to do the same. Not everyone will respond the way I think they need to but those that do, can be healed.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
People around me, people pretending to be fine, are walking around pierced, crushed, beaten and whipped. They can grab the hand of Jesus and step up out of this pain but they don’t know how. They don’t understand that Christ already took the pain and wants to bring them out of theirs just like he has done for me.
I need to look deeper. I need to realize that I am not so unique that only a select few need what I needed and continue to need. Just as God is restoring me and making me whole again, I need to participate in the same for others.
God hasn’t done all this for me so I can be happier with me. He has done it so that I can do for others what not many are willing to do. He hasn’t brought me into light to be a showpiece (thank goodness) but so that I can see what I am doing.
What do I want out of my relationships today? Do I want something for myself or do I want to be Christ for someone else? I have to answer truthfully or else I am just another guy walking around pretending everything is fine when it really isn’t. Then I have to be willing to roll up my sleeves and be a real friend to someone.
Someone will disappoint me, someone will hurt me or even reject me. But that is no excuse for not carrying the message of Christ where it is needed most.