There is nothing more truth telling to the struggles and inner workings of a family, then living in an ICU unit together for three weeks. And if this isn’t enough, try going through rehab with a member of your family, watching the layers of stress peel away.
Of course, perhaps the only difference between this scenario and yours is that I am telling it and others are masking it.
That’s the thing about masks. The longer we hide behind them, the more alone we feel. As if we are the only one with pain and struggles. And it becomes our defensive identity.
For sometimes that is what people do. Hide the hurt.
And when the Holidays ring around the year and we all work in the most peaceable attempt to gather our schedules together, break our comfortable routines and eat and be merry, all of the inner struggles that are beneath the surface of celebration.
We all struggle and we all hide it. No one is exempt.
Sitting in the hospital waiting room sheds a whole new light on the word broken.
My husband whispers to me as we watching the life circles in the hospital corridors.
“The world is so full of broken people. I wish we could protect our children from some of this pain.”
I am staring at the floor in a sleep deprived state of listening.
He speaks again. Louder and with awareness.
“But, we are broken people too. We are all broken.”
We all just look so different, don’t we? Some of us carry it all on the inside and some of us are wearing it with a neon warning sign.
Pain inside. Handle with care.
Thanksgiving is a time to put aside our masks and gather around the table together to break bread and break the barriers and to be real.
Where delicious food and new clothing cannot keep those that we love from entering into the broken places,.
Not to stroke our egos or to congratulate our wrong decisions, but to say a word of thanks for the struggle and to give a word of Hope.
An Olive branch.
But, the pain is so deep and the wounds are so fresh?
Will you be the giver or the receiver this year?
The choice is up to you.
You are holding onto something that was already paid for on the Cross? Release it. Release.
It’s not that easy, you say? Who would know?
When Jesus passed the bread and the cup, He didn’t pass by the broken or the accusers. He treated them all the same.
Perhaps you are not ready to break bread and drink the cup.
Can you begin with thanks and giving to those around you?
The only way to freedom is to break down your walls. And that begins with you.
My home is always open to broken people, because I want them to know first that I am only whole because of Jesus.
As you pass through my door I will pass you a branch. Are you willing to place it at the cross, or will you carry it to my table?
No pretending or pretense. An offering of praise this year for the dysfunction of the world brought upon the Cross.
How would you prefer to gather?
Together or Alone?
Come to the table.