Picture with me for a minute, will you?
You're sitting at home, in the middle of your mess. And gosh, it's messy. There's hurt on your lap, and tears on your cheeks. Wounds mark your arms, some self made, some others induced. You're just in the thickest of the thick and you're all by yourself.
Your phone rings and at the other end you hear a voice that you're pretty sure you recognize. It's an old friend, you quickly realize, and you're invited over: come right away.
You're not the only one invited though. There will be at least ten others, so gather your things and come on over.
You look around at yourself and your surroundings. You could really use a long shower and a lot of makeup to cover up the tiredness of your life.
But your friend insists: come as your are.
So you do. You put on a sweater because it's not the warmest day. You grab your keys and you're out the door.
Soon, you arrive at your friend's home. You look around and see an array of people.
Some look like you. Raged and tired but with gratitude in their eyes. Others look fresh and lovely. You recognize one of the girls who just looks the most beautiful because her whole being is joy filled. You recognize her from a season past, when her eyes looked vastly similar to your own.
You all come in, carrying in the days and the week and the months you're walking in.
Your friend welcomes you with care: I'm glad you came.
They offer to hang up your sweater since the house is warm but you hold onto it.
Another person beside you gives up their coat. You see track marks on their arms. You're a bit surprised that they shared, but at the same time, you realize you don't have to hide. But you keep your sweater on for good measure. Maybe it'll get chilly later.
You all sit down at the table, and instead of food, you share your lives. Each goes around, sharing the day they're in. Some are the saddest tales whereas others are the happiest. No matter the tale, all are beautiful.
You notice one thing in common, a similar thread that lines the table. You're all broken.
All of you. The ones whose stories sound so very happy have the deepest understanding and compassion in their eyes. The darkest story of all comes from the brightest eyes.
The stories go late into the night.
When you go home later, you realize something.
You forgot your sweater. You must have taken it off at some point. You hadn't even realized you'd done so.
This narrative above is one that came to mind as I heard this song below. It's by Francesca Battistelli and I think it's a glorious song. A beautiful one, one worth sitting in for awhile.
bring your brokenness
and I'll bring mine
cause Love can heal what hurt divides
I envision a table surrounded with broken people. Because that's what we are. And when we invite others into our mess, and when we allow ourselves into others, beautiful things happen. The Lord moves.
We hear truth we couldn't hear on our own. And we speak truth that others couldn't hear on their own.
Letting others in brings freedom.
You are not alone.
Your story is not just your own. It must be shared.
There is hope. That hope has a name. The name of Jesus.
Our narrative is one of hope because we trust in the name of Jesus.
And Jesus reigns. He reigns. Yes! Jesus reigns.