If someone didn’t pick it up from reading the bible, all one would need to do is look around (or inward) to see that we are comprehensively cracked and broken people. We are so distant and apathetic toward God, that it is embarrassing. Then of course, there a many of us who disregard God’s existence and imprint on all creation all together.
Our relationships with others is fractured as well. We lie, steal, commit adultery, become jealous, divide, hate, and kill one another. For those that do not commit those more outwardly vicious acts, let it play out inwardly with their thoughts and emotions. The damage we do to one another is clear evidence of our broken state.
Of course, we do not only do things to others, but we also have things done to us as well. We are betrayed, picked on, lied to, abused, mistrusted, and manipulated by others, leaving us even more damaged than we already were. Not to mention the harm that we do to ourselves as well, self hatred and self deceit, insecurities and fear, pride and ego, laziness, gluttony, and the list can go on and on. In the end we are left like a self contained island of disaster.
I would be wrong to ignore how we relate communally and globally as well. Because as messed up people, we make decisions that affect whole communities and other people groups all around the world. We are greedy, hoarding for ourselves and leaving little to nothing for others, we are apathetic towards others sufferings, we step on the powerless for our own gain. We stereotype others into villains, so that we might justify our actions against them, and we make distinctions from our own group, so that some can receive special privileges. All of this leaves our society systemically and structurally impaired.
We are comprehensively cracked and broken in every possible way and dimension. This is not a Calvinist piece on our total depravity, so we can sit around in a circle and dis on ourselves as a form of religious piety. Rather, I wonder how many places there are available for cracked and broken people to come together. My experience is that sadly the church is the last place where people can come together honestly and authentically, sharing their vulnerabilities and weak points. In church, we would rather put on a show as though we are perfect and deal with every situation with ease and grace because we are too blessed to be stressed.
How might we begin creating space where people can be transparent and authentic with one another in our brokenness. How might we lead others into cracked community, so that healing might take place? Freestyle with me…