I remember when I was little and it was Friday- the day when I was supposed to make my room super clean- I would get distracted and play until finally my mom was ready to come look and inspect. So super quickly I would put all of the dirty things inside the closet or under the bed.
Even as a little kid we quickly learn that nobody enjoys our messes and we learn that it is easy to disguise things in order to put our best foot forward. We learned the art of hiding what we didn't want to be seen.
I think as a society and as a church we have became pretty talented at hiding as well. We dress our best and say "Happy Sabbath" when we go to church and when we ask people how they are doing we rarely get more than a "I'm doing great", "Praise God", or "I'm blessed."
Which is awesome- praise God- if being in the house of God, His people really feel blessed. But if you talk to many people and their families outside of the church, without the makeup on or fancy clothes, you can find a lot of real struggles, sickness, grief, depression, fighting. People need help, support. Their is a lot of messiness that is hidden under the smiles.
Even though our natural instinct is to hide, hiding often hurts us by creating walls around our hearts and leaving us feeling all alone. Hiding means that we are afraid and it takes away our opportunity to be found and experience the art of healing.
In the first book of the Bible Adam and Eve, the first creatures, who were so loved and valued by Christ felt extreme shame after sinning and so they hid. They were afraid of their nakedness and what they had done. They knew that they had created a mess out a beautiful thing.
And God had to pursue them. He had to call for them to ask them "Where are you?" to help them come out of hiding. And Christ gave them grace for their mistakes and clothes to comfort them.
The amazing thing about God is he says that he wants to take our brokenness and our weaknesses and use them for His glory. So often when we share our struggles, when we boast about what Christ has done through our mess.. that's when other people stop feeling so alone and realize that everyone is struggling with something. That's how we learn to trust each other and that's how we build true community- we take off the masks- we reveal the mess that God is changing.
There is so much freedom and pure joy when you feel loved by people that actually know and understand you. I know for me, some of my best friends, in all my life have been given to me only by God in the weirdest circumstances. Like when I had lice, or when my friend passed out in a dirty place in Peru, or when I was forced to live with people for eight months or go on a longgg adventure with them. You see everything- the good the bad- and the beautiful thing is when you can look at each other and laugh and love and forgive each other anyway.
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.