Whatcha gonna do wit' all that junk?

>> Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Garbage. It's not even a pretty word to say. It invokes images of filth, rot and decay. It's here among us, yet we do our best to hide and compartmentalize it. Without grace and love and hope, our spirits become these festering cesspools. Many destructive characteristics and attributes rise up from the depths. Not one of us immune to the affects of our sin nature, but we all like to put on these masks and pretend as if we are. To expose ourselves (especially our buried uglies) is never easy.

When I look back on the days and months and years of my life that I spent either homeless, stripping or doing drugs, I am tempted to keep a Kung-Fu death grip on certain information. Even now, I am not sure of the amount of information I will make public, but I will try to do my best to share when I am feeling led. I know that there are many people who think that I should keep my past to myself. What good does it do to share this stuff now? When I was trying to find my way back to God, I didn't fit into any church (this battle is still ongoing) I felt inferior and disgusting. I felt like I needed to polish myself up and make myself better before I could become closer to God. I created this catch-22 for myself. I needed and wanted God, but felt as if I couldn't until I was better. I could never become better until I drew closer to God...but I believed the false representation presented by many churches and Christians here in the states. We appear to be so well put together. We look alike; speak alike; dress alike, and any person who even has a hint of "otherness" is left on the outside. This is how it appears when you are on the outside of that bubble. It's cold, dark and lonely, and so many people are standing on the outside begging for a bone...but in order for them to even want to attempt to step foot in, we have to be real. As a Church, we need to talk about porn more (and not just in a male, gender-exclusive way, either), and mental illness more, and pride more and you fill in the blank...because there are people out there living and breathing and raising babies in the muck and mire and they need to know that the only thing that makes us different is Christ. They need to know that we alone are no better, just as they alone are no worse.

There came a point in my life when I was forced to take a look at all of my own personal garbage. I realized that the sin I was holding onto was making my heart and mind the spiritual equivalent of what a compulsive hoarder's house looks like. If we try to keep up this pristine image on the outside, eventually our frame will not be able to withstand the weight of our garbage. I think that you can see this happening now in the American Church. You can only keep up the facade for so long. Eventually, it will crumble. We need to just admit that, yes, the Bride's crown is on crooked and her breathing has become faint, but ever so slowly little pockets of faith are beginning to rise up, and if we take a closer look at her face, we can see Jesus, and His image is becoming clearer...

Without God's grace, we are all a mess. Our spirits become one giant landfill and breading ground for all sort of uglies. Without the transforming power of grace, we are these living, breathing, festering cesspools, but if we make ourselves more vulnerable, we serve a God with mad recycling skills who promises to give us beauty for these ashes.

Find that one spot. That spot that is the most painful and tender to the touch, and I imagine that it is that very spot that can be used the most to bring about healing...because this is usually how it works. What are you afraid of exposing?


Dorie January 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM  

We all have garbage we are hiding, to be sure. I am afraid of exposing my neediness. Oops, there it is! Secret's out.

It's so much easier to be open with open people. Thanks for sharing yourself...garbage and all.

Amanda January 13, 2010 at 5:34 PM  

I admire and respect your candor and vunerability. I've just read through your posts and I love your perspective. It seems like you really 'get' what grace is all about.
When I surrendered my life back to Jesus again several years ago, I didn't bring the real me or at least me in my entirety . . . I brought the me I thought the church could handle -- and it just wasn't real. It's taken lots of love, patience, encouragement and godly advice and discerment from other believers to help me push past the facade.
Thank you for your blog!
P.S. Have you ever read Anne Jackson's blog? www.flowerdust.net - I think you might really like her :)

About Me January 13, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

Dorie, I love you (neediness and all)

Amanda, I think that there are more of us than we think who feel as if we need to "dress up" who we really are around other Christians. I think we all could use a big dose of honesty. we can't exactly sharpen one another if we are being fake.
I just started reading Anne's blog about a week ago. I like what she has to say!

thank you for reading my blog :)

OMSH August 10, 2011 at 7:28 AM  

"We appear to be so well put together. We look alike; speak alike; dress alike, and any person who even has a hint of "otherness" is left on the outside. This is how it appears when you are on the outside of that bubble."

>> You know, from the "inside" looking out I find I am attracted to the "otherness"--always have been. Maybe it is because I have a bit of that "otherness" in me, but I have been taught to walk/talk/look the part and so my otherness is so well hidden.

Who knows, but I do think it is a very strong, true statement and needs to be said.

I also truly believe that God's grace covers everything - and I love the description of Him being the ultimate recycler...which, of course, makes sense since only the Creator can recycle "His" junk.

So excited to have met you -- slowly reading through and chewing on your thoughts.

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