Originally published Saturday, 22 December 2012.
I am loved by a perfect God.Called to love Him & love others with His perfect love.
I'm a sinner.
Raised by sinners. Surrounded by sinners. Loved, imperfectly, by sinners.
We try our best, but we're fallen. Our lives, our love, is filled with sinful words, actions, omissions. Sinner's words. Hurtled at each other, stabbing, damaging, scarring, breaking each other down.
We are broken.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior in the summer of 1998. His love was, is, such a wonderful gift. Unbelievable, undeserved, unchanging, unconditional. But that's not what I know in this world.
I know the pain of fallen, human love.
Sinners' love. From the moment I breathed my first breathe, I've been loved imperfectly, by imperfect people. Both beautiful and terrible.
This imperfect love effects our definition of the word, of the actions. Our brokenness in the aftermath of sinners' love impacts how we give and receive.
What happens when we get it wrong?
When another's sinful, fallen love damages, stabs, scars, wounds? When we are broken? We hurt others.
You see, when you screwed it up, when you loved me wrong, you screwed me up. You messed with my ability to love others and myself. Which messed with someone else. And on we go. In an epidemic of sinners spreading sinful, hurtful love.
No love here on earth is perfect. But...
Our hope, the reason we keep going, keep trying, keep trusting, is the possibility. The belief that as we attempt to love one anther it is possible to get it right more often then we get it wrong.
We have to find the break.
We have to dig out the place where we are somehow un-whole. When found, we have to patch it up with better love, His love, the love of sinners who get it right more often then wrong.
I am broken.
At 32, I still find more breaks. Old wounds that never healed right. My poor husband, poor friends, poor family. They live in the backwash of my brokenness.
I have normal everyday conversations and their throw away comments make me wince, lash out, with pain.
Where did that come from?
There was no malice in those words, but they touched a tender spot. They poked at a broken place that needs mending.
I could get mad at you. I usually do. For saying I'm not perfect. For not liking every tiny thing that I do. But you don't have to. I know you don't have to like everything about me to love me. I know it in my mind but it's different in my heart.
Broken human love tells me that if I'm not perfect others won't love me.
When you notice my imperfections, even "just joking," it means it's started. The falling out of love. The changing, the conditions, the leaving. So unlike His love.
It only takes a few wounds to make us wince, to make us broken and frightened and un-trusting of another sinners love. To make us react based on the hurts of our past even when the love we have at present is so much closer to what He had intended.
I have broken places. Wounds from love gone wrong. And I'm not alone.
I have wonderful, beautiful friends who have been stabbed by human love. You are one of them. Betrayed. Blindsided. Left behind. Lies told. Sins hidden. Promises tossed aside. Hearts broken.
Sin hurts. It leaves others broken.
My broken sisters, I wish I could mend your broken places. Our broken places. I wish we didn't wince when some well meaning soul brushed against our wounds. I wish none of us had ever been broken at all.
I know the pain of fallen, human love gone wrong.
But I also know the joy and healing of fallen, human love gone right.
Sinners living out His love in my life.
The only thing that fills in those gaps is being loved. Having truth spoken over us, filling in the gaps where we haven't healed properly. So we can believe and live out His love toward others.
I search out my broken places and fill the wound with His truth, His love.
My brokenness tells me I can and will lose the love of others. His truth tells me His love, true Christian love, is unfailing.
My brokenness tells me I will never be good enough. His truth tells me I am accepted just as I am.
In my brokenness, I feel I must struggle alone. Not inflict my brokenness on anyone else. Not share my wounds. Keep it hidden. Pull myself together. But His truth tells me we are to serve one another, live out His love toward one another.
He didn't send out his perfect disciples to find perfect followers. He sent sinful men to heal a wounded people with His love.
Brokenness may come at the hands of another sinner. But healing definitely comes from sinners living out His love in my life.
Healing comes from His love and His followers. Healing comes in community.
I so desire to live out His love. But I am broken.
The best I can do is continue to search for my wounds, to recognize them, and patch them up with His truth. To learn, read, study His words so they fill in the old scars. To bear my wounds to the open air, exposing the whole truth of my brokenness to the love of His followers, so The Light can heal me.
As I heal, I will love others more like Him, and less like me.
Less likely to stab others with my sinful attempts at love as I stumble along in my broken state.
I am still a sinner. I will always be a sinner loving other sinners. All I can do is continue to heal. Continue to smother my scars in the salve of His truth and the salve of others who are living out His love in my life.
How has have others "living out His love" healed your brokenness? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!