The last thing I expected to see, on the side of a mountain, on the highest altitude highway in North America, was a fire hydrant. Needless to say there it was. I stared at it and wondered if it had any pressure, and if it did, how did they put the pipes in through solid mountain rock? To say it looked odd would be an understatement. It was out of place.
Ever felt that way? I have for sure. Quite often in fact. It is a very uncomfortable feeling to have. When one is surrounded by people they don’t know, in unfamiliar terrain, or circumstances. Personally, I tend to react, like many, by becoming reserved, quiet, and seemingly shy.
No matter who a person is, there will probably be a time in their life when they will feel out of place, like they don’t belong. They might feel like they are sticking out like a sore thumb, or like a red fire hydrant on the side of a mountain. As followers of Christ, we should embrace those who feel out of place. Let them know that they are welcome, that they belong, that God loves them. It might make a massive impact, not just on their day, but their life.
Thanks, to all those who welcomed me when I felt out of place. You know who you are, my friends. 🙂
To be spiritually broken, what’s that like? In the old testament extreme brokenness was represented with torn robes, sack cloth, and ashes. That doesn’t sound very comfortable, and not easy to hide. That was the point, right? Not to be comfortable but to reflect the pain and grief felt on the inside, outwardly. That way everyone could see how broken a person really was. (Example: 2 Kings 19:1)
It stands as a far cry from today. When we are broken, even over good and Godly things we pretend like everything is OK. We go on like our broken state is just an inconvenience. Wipe those tears away, we don’t have time to have a contrite heart, we don’t want to answer when someone ask what’s wrong. Because our fear is that if we answered, my heart aches for those that have no hope, aches for those who are lost, those being sold into slavery, those who’s lives we can never seem to touch no matter how hard we try. That would be too much to tell anyone and they wouldn’t want to hear it.
That kind of truth is heavy. Too heavy for most people to hear. And so the shades go on over the puffy eyes, the walls go back up, and we hide our brokenness from the world. It’s OK to be broken. And while I don’t see many folks running around in sack cloths anymore, we could all use a heart dose of being laid bare every now and then, and sharing that heart with others.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
When you look at the church, the body of Christ, What do you see?
I suppose for everyone it is different, but what I really want to know is when you look at the church…
Do you see Faith?
Do you see hope?
Do you see love?
Now look in the mirror. What do you see?
1 Corinthians 13:12-13 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I don’t know about you, but when I see a reflection of the body of Christ, or myself, I want to see faith, hope and love.
Does your heart have room for Jesus? Does Mine?
I have a three year old little girl, and as I watch her grow and play I think back in my own life, and how simple it used to be. Thoughts were clear, right and wrong, were “right”, and “wrong”. There was less confusion, less stress, less compromise, less busyness, less to fill my mind with, and most importantly, less to fill my heart with. My question is, When is it all too much? When do we start pushing the good things out and letting all of that other stuff in? When do we start nudging the Lord of all out of our daily lives and through up signs saying there is no room in this moment, or this activity?
Leave a vacancy. Leave room for good, for love, for truth, and most importantly leave room for Jesus. He is really the only thing in your life you absolutely need to have room for.
A lot of times we feel that we are alone, broken, falling apart. When I saw this dock on the side of the road that is what came to mind. It also came to my attention how peaceful it looked, standing out there, the framework still resisting the elements almost as if to say, I still matter, I still exist, I am something real.
I don’t know why this wooden dock was abandoned, why no one seemed to care about it anymore. Is is difficult to understand how we can spend so much energy building something up only to let it fall into ruin, but it happens all the time. In families, in marriages, in our hearts, even in our walk with God.
While this dock might be beyond repair, as long as we are breathing, we are not. As long as we have a heart beating in our chest we are not beyond saving. Our hearts, our lives can be pulled from the muck at the bottom of whatever pit they lye in and restored. Only God can do this, and, depending on how bad it looks, He might be the only one who wants to.
I believe that a photo truly can speak to us. I hope this one speaks to you, and reminds you even when you feel washed up, broken down, and like you are falling apart, as long as you are alive, you matter.