We have cats. (Okay, so that’s not news or blog worthy, but let me explain).
Our cats love to look out the window, and will destroy anything in their way of doing so. You see here the status of the poor blinds in my office. The ones in the living room are bad too and we had to completely take down the ones in the kitchen because they were completely destroyed.
What happened to the blinds was painful for my wife and I, because at the time they were new. We enjoyed them. They kept out the hot afternoon sun, and for what it’s worth, helped us feel more safe in our house, no one could look in.
But we finally accepted that they were broken, but also determined that we didn’t need to rush to fix them and have nice ones up.
And so we live with mostly functioning, mostly intact blinds.
I think we can learn something from my cats and these broken blinds.
Behind these broken blinds are broken people. I’m not always a perfect husband, father, pastor, or friend. I get angry, I can be mean, I can say a harsh word, and now to some degree you can all see that. I can’t hind behind broken blinds.
But too often in the church, and in our relationships in general, we try to hide behind good blinds. When we are being an extraordinarily nice person, have accomplished something great, or want to show off, we can open them up and let the world see us at our best. But when we want to hide, get away from everything, be mean, or put someone down, we can draw the blinds and hide within ourselves.
And so week after week people show up into our lives, our churches, and our home groups and only see the best possible versions of ourselves, and they start to wonder, “Is this place for me? I’m broken, hurt, and struggling and these people don’t seem to be any of those things.”
What the friends, families, and neighbors around us need to see is not a perfect, have-it-all-together-gee-aren’t-I-a-nice person. They need to see real, authentic faith. Faith that struggles and doubts. Faith that doesn’t have it all together. Faith that can say, “I may not know it all or have it all together, but Jesus is faithful.”
I hear two common things from people when it comes to wanting to live on mission and share their faith, that I think need to be challenged.
For many, tomorrow will ‘be church.’ It will also be an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with brothers, sisters, and seekers to say, “We don’t have it all together but we do have Jesus, and that’s enough.” It’s a chance for the people of God to open the blinds and let people into their lives, all parts of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and together to seek Christ, to experience his peace and reconciliation, and to grow in faith, love, and justice.