Facebook, how I love thee! No, seriously I do sometimes. A writer friend from a summer at camp wrote a beautiful note today. She got me thinking and my initial comment ended up as part of her blogpost. I've been mulling over her thoughts for the rest of my day. Thankfully, what started out as a pain day ended up being a mostly pain-free day and I got lots accomplished. Yay!
I'd encourage you to read my friend's post, because otherwise what follows may not make sense. It's okay. I'll wait.....I want my life and my impact to be real. I don't want to be a painted flower, pretty but fake. A cut flower isn't much better. Sure it's protected from the elements and stays prettier longer, but in the end it dies without fruit. This being real means being messy. My flowers regularly take damage from the elements, the squirrels and the weedwhackers(the lawncare people don't seem to know their flowers). But those same battered plants do something. They provide nourishment, oxygenate the air and beautify my yard. When crushed, my plants give off fragrance. I want to be like them. My life isn't perfect. For a very long time, I felt that in order to be a good Christian I had to pretend it was. Until very recently I still wrestled with that concept but in different forms. Now I'm walking a bare soul road.
I'd be lying if I said my heart was completely in the right place. It isn't. But slowly, so slowly I'm getting there. And by being so honest, I think that's where that sweet smelling fragrance comes from. I don't have it all together. My life and my faith are in fragments. BUT my wonderful wonderful Saviour hasn't abandoned me. Instead He's making something beautiful out of this mess. People keep telling me how much I'm growing and how beautiful my faith is. I don't get it. However, I'm so grateful for this beautiful healing, this grace that makes my brokenness something new, something better.
When the Church and Christians are merely painted flowers, it's hard to get any nourishment. Taking off the masks and walking bare souled is hard. Make no mistake, there is a price. But when the masks come off, grace can come in. And then what a beautiful garden there is!