Friday, May 7, 2010

Basements and Jesus and the Ugly-Things

I've got a bright green door.
The kind of green that makes a great, big contrast with our yellow house. 

And when you open that green door (if you were expected), you'd most likely see a tidied up entryway and a dining room which leads into a kitchen with counters wiped down and then you'd see the living room, with no toys not too many toys strewn across the floor.

The guest bathroom won't have its usual potty seat attached to the toilet and the shower curtain should be pulled shut to obstruct the buckets and boats and balls that litter the bathtub floor.

What you won't see is my bedroom, with its unmade linens and laundry-still-in-baskets and you definitely won't be touring my closet or bathroom. 

Because that's the way we live.
And it's not bad, or hypocritical or full of pretense. 

We only have so much time to clean, and we prioritize what we want others to see and what we don't want others to see.

It's really okay--with our literal homes.

The problem occurs when we live like this in all of our relationships. 

When the only thing we let our close friends see are the tidied-up areas of our hearts, the places of success and happiness.

When we only allow our friends into the "guest areas"-- the ones that are presentable and under control and ready at all times for a realtor to show potential clients.

I just spent three hours with a friend who's been invited into my life, regardless of the conditions of the many rooms of my soul. The kind of friend who answers the question, "So, how's your heart?" without the obligatory superficial crap. 

This friend ever-so-boldly invited me into her own basement--the kind of human basement with cockroaches and cobwebs and things we as humans don't want to confess we own. It was with fear and pain that we walked down those steps as she shared her story with me. She brought her ugly-things into the light--the light of heart-felt confession to another human--and it wasn't easy

at all. 

Since her courageous invitation-- to know even the most regretted and broken parts of her story--I've been able to reciprocate. Today, we walked down into my basement and I showed her some of my ugly-things. Together, we flipped the light on, acknowledged the fallenness of our human condition and then turned our eyes to 

the Only Light we know. 

It's not just the confession and the invitation of another person into our brokenness that causes the life-resuscitating healing we so desperately need. 

It's the turning toward the Light of Jesus-- One who doesn't down-play our screw-ups and at the same time grants us a purity and wholeness--a freedom from shame-- we could never achieve on our own. 

Fear and shame and guilt make for stunted relationships and hearts that can only give so much. Only when we allow Jesus into our closets and bathrooms and basements 

(and he often invites another friend)  

will we discover the uninhibited freedom to love and be loved the way we were meant to. 

That's the power of the invitation. It requires much, but for those bold enough to risk it all, the rewards are immeasurable. 

Who have you invited into your basement? Is Jesus welcomed there?

No comments:

Post a Comment