“You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
This morning I chose to play small. I walked in to my school, worried about small things. I was concerned about the mess on my desk. I wrestled with the power cord stuck under the front cluster of desks. I wondered what others would be thinking of the “crazy classroom down the hall.” I was consumed with the image of the joy-killer, the seed of fear growing in front of my eyes.
It is in these moments that I begin to lose God’s vision. I wake up in my sun-filled bedroom, on a day that that God has given, and instead of looking at the sunrise, I use the light to take account of the bruising on my body. Instead of allowing my spirit to awaken to making a difference in a broken world, I attempt to minimize the losses.
Mitigating the Mess
Why do I strive for meaningful moments in my life? Why do I spend countless hours on YouTube surfing for the one video that will change my world, even slightly? Why am I content to watch as world events unfold, sitting by and treating the event as a source of hourly entertainment, even defaulting to phrases like “this is boring” or “I’m just tired.” And yet the God of the mess, the God who allowed the mess of our lives to happen, shows up. Not in bells and whistles, or earthquakes or high-powered presentations, but in the poetic whisper from God who chooses to whisper mysterious, beautiful words of love into my life.
As a follower of Christ, I believe God calls us to stand for what we believe in. The problem is that we’re standing for the wrong things. The message of Jesus is not one of condemnation, but one that gives freedom to the enslaved, speaks life into the ashes. So what am I to stand for? To love beyond the frustration. To believe beyond the broken promises. To hope beyond the hurt.
I fight for what I believe because it matters. I don’t fight for the small. The tendency is to get lost in the bruises and bumps and “small hills of victory” because I falsely believe the enemy plays on a battlefield in miniature. It is one trench on Monday, two on Thursday, and in the meantime I am leaving the weak/immature/vulnerable to die in the overflowing trenches. I am neither a combat unit or a corporation. I am the mess of Christ, following in the mess of the Bible story, part of the great story of God’s restorative love. Here, and present, but not yet there, in the horizon of God.
Love is messy.
It’s also patient, kind, a really bad score keeper. And it’s really hard to break. In fact, impossible. And if that is true, and God’s love is like an unbroken ball of yarn that continues to entangle my mistakes, my victories, my minute-by-minute moments, then my vision must get bigger.
Because God loves what matters.