So…..yeah….I haven’t posted since Ash Wednesday…….I /FAIL at this whole blogging thing :P.

There are a lot of reasons I haven’t but I don’t want to really get into it right now……Rather…I want to reflect with you on something I’ve been thinking about all throughout Lent.

As I’ve continued in my ministry to those with low (or non-existent) income…..I have heard many different stories about struggles with depression, anxiety, addiction and broken relationships.

To be sure, there are also stories of hope and resurrection and new life in that mix….bringing hope, recovery and joy. But that’s not what I want to focus on. At least not today. 😛

I am always struck by these people’s willingness to share their stories; even when there are some serious embellishments attached :).

In many ways, those who are feeling neglected and persecuted by society, or by those who have hurt them in the past are more open to sharing their suffering.

But what about those of us who are not necessarily marginalized in the big picture? What if we have a job, a stable(ish) income, and expected to be strong??? Especially if we find ourselves in leadership positions in the care of others??? Those of us who lead can’t be weak? Can we???

Won’t those we serve think less of us if we have a breakdown? Will our doubts and fears mean that they might not take the Church seriously? In our moments of uncertainty, does that mean that others will think less of us??? That we are not worth anything???

Those are tough questions for anyone, and scary to even think about, let alone discuss….but I think it is one that is important for us to grapple with…..not only for our faith….but for our sheer well-being.

Last week, I read an article from a fellow pastor in London that touches on this issue….and I think it’s important to highlight what he talks about.

Being caught up in our emotions and our mental struggles, doesn’t mean that we don’t have enough faith. Being honest, not only with ourselves, and with those who are part of our lives…is the only way we can be real. Embracing brokenness is to say “ya….you know what…. I am human……I ain’t perfect…..and this sucks….really bad!” 😛

It takes the pressure off of all of us to be mere actors, but more than that…….to admit that we are weak means to join with all of humanity. Our willingness to feel bruised and battered and to have the courage to share means to join hands with a fellow brother or sister and to walk with them along the road. Helping them to know they are not alone….While at the same time, giving us a companion in dealing with your own roadblocks, stumbles or…as is more common for me– outright face-plants :P.

Believe me…..speaking from my own personal experiences…..taking that leap is scary….sometimes even paralyzing……but here’s the Good News….we–on our own–are not expected to be strong. That might be the expectation of society…..but it’s not the expectation of the One who loves us first.

Think about the woman at the well. A lot of commentators speak about the woman coming to the well….coming to faith…..drawing the water herself….All the while forgetting, Jesus was there first……..

Jesus was in a place he shouldn’t have been. Speaking civilly to someone he should insult, offering love to someone who should be despised. It was God who acted first….He even admitted his own need and thirst for water…….he shared his own distress…He was willing to be broken with us….

We don’t have to worry about being strong….because that isn’t what we’re expected to be…..we are simply meant to be who we are……and the crazy part is….God will come meet us anyway….and surround us with brothers and sisters to help hold us up 😀 +