It is St. Patrick’s Day. I dutifully wore green and ate my corned beef and cabbage. I also watched Edward Scissorhands again (which really has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day or what comes next but is still one of my favorite movies).
I thought I’d share what I read this morning that spoke to me about the fellowship of the wounded and broken:
“Some of us tend to do away with things that are slightly damaged. Instead of repairing them we say: “Well, I don’t have time to fix it, I might as well throw it in the garbage can and buy a new one.” Often we also treat people this way. We say: “Well, he has a problem with drinking; well, she is quite depressed; well, they have mismanaged their business…we’d better not take the risk of working with them.” When we dismiss people out of hand because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.
We all are bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak” (Henri Nouwen).
What do we do with those whose brokenness is more apparent than ours? How do we treat those who are less adept at hiding their weaknesses and failures?
I still love that Jesus didn’t just tolerate those who were outcast and broken. He often went out of HIs way to find them and bring them into His community. He laid hands on the lepers and spoke to the unmentionables. He loved those who couldn’t even love themselves, much less anybody else.
I still believe that these accounts of Jesus’ aren’t just for a lovely bedtime story or only to stir up sentimental feelings. It’s the ultimate example for all who follow after. It’s a blueprint for how to love those same people in our own lives.
Is it even possible? Not in my own strength. Not in yours.
It is only possible when we have fully received and embraced that same love for ourselves, acknowledging that we ourselves are broken and wounded. Only then can we truly love others in the unconditional way of Jesus’.