There’s something deep within us that likes judging. It’s so much easier to have a code for life. This is “right”. That is “wrong”. Search for the code, obey it, move on. Everything has an answer in that “reality”. There are no hard questions or things that can’t be “figured out”. Certainty. Answers. It’s what our brains like to operate under.
But what happens when you experience both? What happens when good people make mistakes or do things that are “bad”? What happens when “bad” people change or do something “good”? Or what happens when we make a mistake? When we fail, get a blemish, act out of frustration/ignorance/humanity… Are we then bad? And what about God? When things don’t “go well” or add up in your life, does your judgement of who/what God is change in order to fit into a clean answer for your mind?
A lot goes into every moment, every life. A heart of true compassion and grace can only operate outside of this judge-like simplifying of life. It has to see beyond the moment in order to love the moment.
When Christ came in flesh, he didn’t split people. He didn’t even split life itself into good or bad. Bodies got sick and died and yet he still showed human life and bodies were valuable by inhibiting one and loving others. He even knew all that would happen to him – all the harm, hate and murder – and still claimed life worth living, and even the evilest of people worth loving.
Grace means including what we’d rather not. It means not splitting reality. Not calling anything or anyone wholly good or wholly bad, because, as I’m finding more and more, that will never be the case on this side of life.
This truth is not easy to swallow. My growing heart somedays longs for the easy life of judgement. I could call people “bad” for a mistake and then simply avoid them and move on. I could try to find the rules and follow them. But what that “easy” life, which feels so good on the surface, cannot handle is love, grace, forgiveness. Those concepts are simply too complex.
This complexity, it is even within my very self. I too am full of good and bad, ups and downs, successes and failures. I am a walking contradiction. Physical skin and bone but also somehow also not physical with feelings and hopes and dreams and desire.
Grace is hard. Grace means I love my family, I love my friends and I love people when they don’t live up to the ideal. Grace means I forgive all things. It means I do not place demands on my life or people that they can not live up to. Grace means I mourn all the ways in which being human, being in the world, and life itself is not something ideal; it is not simple, not black or white and it never will be.
I say hold onto those ideals you have for life and your loves. Long for those, keep your dreams, your desires, your futures, your loves, your hopes. But I also say, do the hard and grace-giving work of mourning the inconstancies, imperfections, and missed marks. Life, love and people will never meet your ideals. This world was never meant to.
For a heart made for Heaven, the truth of this life is hard to accept. Yet as hard as it may be, acceptance may be the very key to living a life full of joy, compassion and deep loving grace.
When life, love and people do not meet our ideals, expectations, hopes… may we all choose grieving instead of splitting. Compassion instead of judgement. Acceptance instead of bitterness. Grace instead of rigidity.
Here’s to hoping we allow life to be all that it is.
May we love people as they are. May we see more clearly as our ideals loosen their noose on being human. May we live with grace, peace and therefore joy.
Grace & peace.
Extra Musings and Random Thoughts
Picture is sunset taken from the trail near Columbia going to the “White Cliffs of Conoy“. Great spot.
If you want to read more about the concept of life’s complexity, Richard Rohr talks a lot about this in Everything Belongs which is an excellent book.
Need a little new music? Here’s a ton. August 2017 Spotify playlist 😉
Excited for the end of the week and hearing the line up at the 2017 Global Leadership Summit. Looks incredible. Cannot wait.
And lastly… So stinking excited about Brene Brown’s announcement of her upcoming book Braving the Wildnerness. Comes out Sept. 12! Here’s to more amazing words to truths that I will sometime probably share right here.