Monday, February 2, 2009

Come to the water's edge.

The more people I meet and talk to the more clear it becomes to me. I listen to endless stories of lives burdened with confusion, family issues, negative self-images, depression, death, drugs, addiction, loneliness....whatever it is, there is always something. We are all different. Yet...we are all the same. Hurt. 

Sometimes I wonder at what point in life we lose our eager, naive, childish joy of life to join the masses of selfish, searching-for-more adults. When does that happen? I know we are all sinful but, I feel like the life gets sucked out of all of us at some point. Like, do we wake up one morning and realize how messed up our world is? and realize how much it has messed us up?

So I'm looking at all these faces. There's always a story. I don't care how good the 'mask' is. Always a story. 

I want to tell each of these faces that their story is very important. And that hurt can turn into REST. Why do I want to tell them this? Because this is what Jesus tells us: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

But...what the heck is "rest"?

If anything, my heart is restless. Restless over this messed up world. Story after story after story, (whether it's the person sitting across from me at Starbucks or a child halfway across the world), is just filled with hurt. So please, tell me what the crap "rest" is. 

And I thought about it. And I don't know if this is right but this is what I think...

Paul talks about the chaos within our hearts and says we will be "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 6:10). I've already talked about this "sorrow" enough, we know it's everywhere around us. But this "rejoicing"...this is what our rest is. Beyond all the destruction and loneliness in our world we have an inner peace. The peace that tells us that this is not about us. The peace that tells us we are free. The sin is here but it no longer burdens us. We literally "die" to the world meaning that we die to everything in it. We are given a new heart that still hurts...but now can be healed. We will ultimately have eternal rest, but we also have rest here and now. I like the way one of my favorite authors, Brennan Manning, writes it: "Home is not a heavenly mansion in the afterlife, but a safe place right in the midst of our anxious world."

Jesus' yoke is "easy" because he is the one carrying it for us. It doesn't mean life is perfect. Like I said, it means our hurting can now be healing. 

Someday we won't know the meaning of "hurting" anymore. Until then...let's all just chill and live in a Love that is stronger than our fear of everything being out of control.