There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
Jesus said, “If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much.” Matthew 5:46
It is not easy to love the broken. It’s messy. You will probably have to get your hands very dirty at times—because broken people don’t usually hang out in our nice clean air-conditioned “churches, with folks who love to sing about Jesus.
I wish it were so.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the broken came in nice clothes, driving nice cars, and speaking politely about God, and…
(Oh, wait, they do!)
“Broken,” isn’t just about speaking sentences punctuated with four-letter expletives, or panhandling with signs that might as well say, “This one has been through hell and high water and somehow is still living to tell about it!”
A God who hangs out with adulterous prostitutes and swindling cowards.
Jesus calls us out of our comfortable comfort zones—always has—always will.
First Corinthians, Chapter Thirteen was written to a very BROKEN church but I like Ravi Zacharias’ take away from this passage,
In a world that largely perceives Christians to be in-fighters, hypocritical, argumentative, and judgmental naysayers, would it not demonstrate maturity to reexamine our fear of what it might look like if we tried to take Paul’s words about love to heart?
Would it, or could it look like creating seminaries in the prisons, as has been done at Louisiana’s maximum security prison at Angola? Would it, or could it look like working with different Christian fellowships towards a vital social goal despite denominational differences or theological disagreements? Would it, or could it look like proactive movement to engage the culture rather than reactive retreat? Would it, or should it look like growing into mature human beings? Paul continues,
When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
In Jesus, the full stature and maturity of humanity is on display. He taught that love was the summary of all that had gone before, and fulfillment of the entire law and the message of the prophets—love God and love your neighbor as yourself. If the greatest of the virtues is love, as affirmed by Jesus and the apostle Paul, can all who seek to follow envision becoming a community that seeks to make love their chief responsibility and goal? Now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — Ravi Zacharias, RZIM.org
A modern love story for an ancient problem.
I confess that I dearly love Charles Martin’s stories. He writes with passion, soul, and such a love for Jesus Christ! But he does it so gently that he will fly under your radar!
One minute you will think you are reading nothing more than a modern love story, and the next, his words will steal their way past all your carefully laid defenses, planting “ancient and in-your-face truths” deep in your heart.
Unwritten is just such a story.
“…somewhere in that intersection of broken hearts and shattered souls… broken is not the end of things, but the beginning. Maybe broken is what happens before you become unbroken. What’s more, maybe our broken pieces don’t fit us… maybe my pieces are the very pieces needed to mend you and your pieces are the very pieces needed to mend me, but until we’ve been broken we don’t have the pieces to mend each other. Maybe in the offering we discover the meaning, and value of being broken. Maybe…somewhere on the planet is another somebody standing around holding a bag of all the jagged, painful pieces of themselves and they can’t get whole without you… Maybe love, the real kind, the kind only wished for in whispers and the kind our hearts are hardwired to want, is opening up the bag of you… And what’s more, they don’t cost you anything. They’re free. I paid for them in the breaking… And because you’re desperate, and you’ve tried most everything else, you empty my bag across the floor… and…find the one piece you’ve been missing… And when you insert that piece into the puzzle that had become you, it stops the hemorrhage, and for the first time in maybe your whole life, the wound starts to heal.”
— Charles Martin, Unwritten
He’s calling you to love without borders.
I just finished reading Suzanne Eller’s Come With Me.
In the forward Michele Cushatt makes this statement, “I would’ve preferred to play church, keep Jesus at a distance, make my own way. It’s far easier to wax poetic about faith than to grab Jesus’ hand and plunge into the deep unknown with him.”
Suzanne added on page one of chapter one,
“If I could choose one word to describe the feeling that led me to live this book , it would be hungry.
Hungry for deeper faith. Hungry for a relationship with God that changes how I view the world around me. Hungry for his presence to be so big on the inside of me that it shows up in my home, my marriage, my interaction with others. Hungry for more than the status quo, even if that means I need to be brave. One of my favorite songs, “Ocean,” describes what I desired from this journey, which is to “trust without borders.” It didn’t take long to realize that singing these words and living them are very different.”
There is a hurting world out there full of desperate broken people and we have the answer they need.
I used to believe my brokenness was my greatest disqualifer.
Now I know.
Jesus shows up best in weak people—always has—always will.