One of my favorite shows when my kids were little was America’s Funniest Videos (AFV). I really shouldn’t find some of the videos as funny as I do. When they do a montage of people falling down…I’m done. My kids used to say, “Breathe mom, breathe!” I would be laughing so hard.
One video that really stuck with me was of a boy and his dad. They placed an egg in their microwave. They got close to the microwave window and you could see the egg in its’ shell rotating round and round. The timer went off and the boy carefully took the egg out. It was in a little glass dish and the camera zoomed in to see that the egg was cracked a little and then…BOOM! The egg literally exploded. It was all over the boy’s face, on the ceiling, the walls…basically everywhere. It was such a shock, and it was surprising how big of a mess one little egg made. Luckily the boy wasn’t hurt…he thought it was funny.
Life can be messy. Let’s face it…it not only can be messy…it is messy. But what happens when your faith gets messy? We just finished a series at my church called “Messy Faith.” It was a great series that went through a lot of the things that can make our faith a little more complicated than we may have bargained for in the beginning of our faith journey. I’ve mentioned before how my faith got turned upside down 9 years ago when I found out my son was gay. There are times when I long for those days when everything fit neatly into a box. It was comfortable. But that longing doesn’t last because my faith is so much deeper now. Back then I thought I had all of the answers…today I hardly have any answers. Isn’t it crazy that I prefer to be here rather then where I was years ago? As strange as it may sound it is very freeing.
I’ve deconstructed my faith…and it doesn’t all fit back together the way it did before. I look at it like a puzzle. You start out with the pieces scattered about and little by little you fit together the pieces to complete a picture. Suppose the pieces don’t complete the picture? Have you ever put together a puzzle only to get to the very end and realize you were missing a piece or heaven forbid more than one piece?! That can be so frustrating! That’s how I see my faith and the missing piece or pieces are all of my questions. Now some people would throw the puzzle away if it was missing pieces. But I wouldn’t do that…something drew me to that puzzle. There’s beauty in the puzzle and I can get satisfaction from it even if it isn’t complete. Would it drive me crazy at times? Yes! But I would remind myself of what drew me to the puzzle in the first place and this is what’s gotten me through those messy faith times. Something drew me to God. And through this messy faith journey I have discovered a deeper sense of love that really can only be explained as super natural. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. In my own way, I feel like I am part of the mystery of God. I think we can all find ourselves there if we let go and let our faith get a little messy.
Now there is something that I have to remind myself of often. When life gets messy and especially when faith gets messy, there are emotions that are involved. Sometimes it’s frustration. Sometimes anger, fear, anguish…a whole variety. I need to be mindful of my actions and reactions during these times. I need to try my best to not let those emotions explode onto others around me like the egg that was microwaved for too long. To be an ally to the LGBTQ community, I need to interact with people who aren’t always going to believe what I believe, act the way I would act, respond the way I would respond. Am I going to let that hinder my message of love? I try really hard not to let that happen. It gets messy, but that’s when that super natural love I talked about comes into play. God is pretty darn amazing (smile).
How’s your messy life? Better yet…how’s your messy faith? Not messy yet? Just wait…it will be at some point. Remember what drew you to the One who can bring you through the mess. His love will get you through, and then share that love…
Because love matters…