I’m not trying to make you depressed, I’m saying you already are depressed. – Peter Rollins paraphrasing Kierkegaard
I was thinking the other day about brokenness.
I do this a lot.
I was thinking about community and how we can have community that allows for brokenness. I was thinking about it because I think, to be blunt, the communities most of us are a part of and have built are unable to connect with those who are overtly broken.
And it has nothing to do with them. It’s alllllllll us.
I was sitting in home church and it was the time of the night where we ask for pray requests.
This was a room of 6 adult men, mature Christians, and there was nothing. To me this is the problem that our communities face when we invite in people with overt brokenness. We are so good at hiding our damage that 6 of us can sit in a room and say with our silence “I’m good.”
I am not good, I’m broken.
I think as church folk we’ve been taught to hide our brokenness because our happiness and our completeness ties directly to how well we know God.
If we are a good Christian we will be whole and complete, so when we say we are broken we are saying “I’m a bad Christian” or “I don’t know God”.
Think about it. Look at the songs you sing at church. God is great, God saves, God fixes, etc. So if you have been in community for years and are still not great, saved, fixed, etc. then you must not know God.
So we hide.
But what does that mean for someone overtly broken?
My dad was disabled. He walked with crutches, then a wheel chair. He was in constant pain. He couldn’t hide it. His brokenness was out there for everyone to see and I guarantee that’s part of why he connected so well with people as a pastor. There was not façade or mask. You could go and share your brokenness because you knew he understood.
For me that’s what our relationships and community need to look like. Open about our struggles, sharing our brokenness so that the people we are in relationship with can share theirs. Setting the precedent that you’re not perfect and your life is messy so that other will feel safe inviting you into their messy lives. Give space for those who feel like they can’t hide their brokenness to connect and feel like they aren’t the only one whose life isn’t perfect.
This starts with us. It’s long beyond time we stop hiding and saying everything is ok. Your already broken, it’s just a matter of how long you want to run from it.