Missing Pieces

Matthew 11:28-30 (the message)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Sometimes our pain is deep.

Sometimes it’s so deep that we can’t face it, can’t deal with it, can’t necessarily define it.

Sometimes we just put our heads down and push through. We bury. We scrape over. We avoid.

And so it never really goes away.

Life goes on, you know. Responsibilities and opportunities take us by storm as we get older. We spend ourselves on busyness and the musts-of-life and hopes for a lighter day.

We spill over. Drain away. Get sloshed around on the inside until we lose our equilibrium.

In the midst of our spilling, draining and sloshing forgotten wounds are sometimes uncovered.

We want to look away. Try to look away. Except we can’t because now we are too exhausted to avoid the imprint left on our hearts.

Tears leak out and we wonder at ourselves…

How can this still hurt?

Sometimes in our well-intentioned or perhaps misguided efforts to avoid pain we skip healing.

And then one day we condemn ourselves because we still hurt.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life…learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I’m not exactly sure what this looks like. Exactly what it means. But I just can’t drop His words into my pocket and move on. I need to come unstuck.

Recover: to regain; to get or obtain that which was lost…to revive from apparent death…to regain by reparation; to repair the loss of, or to repair an injury done by neglect…to regain a former state by liberation from capture or possession…to reach; to come to. (Webster’s 1828)

Surely our salve is here…in this recovery brought on by getting away with Jesus.

Sitting on my porch this morning I once again consider what exactly does this mean…to get away with Him?

I realize these leaky moments, most honest confessions, are getting away. This empty chair beside me suggests an audience of One…

Revealing myself. Showing my hand. Pulling aside a curtain drawn so long ago.

Yes. My tears leak out and I can’t even believe they come.

I can’t believe the wound that hasn’t healed.

I realize I skipped over it. Pushed through. Lost my footing while I thrashed about hoping someone would save me.

But when I get away with Him…come away from false remedies that have yet to heal me…I sense a bit of this unforced rhythm.

Jesus and His unforced rhythms.

Grace.

I don’t know how to recover my losses and regrets. And I don’t suppose that is really what He means.

Grace goes deeper. To the places we’ve ignored and even chided ourselves for shielding because we think there should be nothing there to shield.

Shouldn’t we outgrow our pain?

Shouldn’t we mature past our wounds?

Haven’t we confessed and professed and done all we know to do?

And yet pieces of our very selves are missing.

Might Jesus be promising to recover our missing pieces?

So often our attempts at recovery are bulky, heavy and ill-fitting. Yet Jesus promises to teach us…to show us how…to live in the unforced rhythms of His grace. No bulk. No bent-over-burden to carry or manage.

When we get away with Him…come away from our tired attempts…Jesus tenderly draws from our trembling hearts the long-hidden truths we have denied.

We have denied ourselves healing.

We have denied ourselves authentic grace.

We don’t comprehend broken attempts mended by grace. This slow dance. This rhythm of hard truth and soft healing rocking our souls in His come-away embrace.

Yet our hope is here in unforced rhythms that tease out our deepest hurts. Our losses. Rhythms that lower our guard and make it safe to look hurt fully in the face.

In His nearness we catch a glimpse of understanding…allow ourselves compassion…sink just a bit further into trusting.

His love far exceeds our heavy and ill-fitting attempts. His grace overshadows the glaring sore spots. We don’t know how but in our coming-away we sense He is in fact recovering our hearts.

Our missing pieces.

We don’t know what it looks like to live recovered. We don’t see how to unload our burdens. Yet Jesus invites us to imagine ourselves as we long to be…

Unscathed girls and boys dancing and rocking and living, unhindered, in the unforced rhythms of grace.

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