If marriage has shown me one thing over the course of my husband and my short eight years together, it is that humans are deeply flawed. OK, it doesn’t take being married to get that. Here’s the real truth that has blindsided me — I am deeply flawed.
Hard to admit, right? It’s difficult, sometimes, for me to lump myself in with the rest of humankind. It is way too easy to say that about everyone else, especially that guy with road rage who threw the finger up at you in traffic or the coworker who gets on your ever-loving nerves day in and day out.
It’s why we hate going through checkout lines — the cashier is too slow, the people at the stores are crazy and it’s too crowded. So, we order online. Food. Clothes. That random part you need to fix your lawnmower. Toys. Business cards. Books. Eye glasses. A mattress in a box. Need customer service or to schedule an appointment? I’ll do it online, thank you.
We’ve done everything to make life “convenient” and to make sure we don’t have to deal with that person who we claim brings out the worst in us. More often than not, brokenness makes us run away. It’s messy, it’s tough and it’s uncomfortable. But to admit that we ourselves are deeply flawed is deeply humbling. And it makes us vulnerable.
I have issues that I didn’t even know were issues that play out in my everyday interaction with my husband. He knows me better than anyone, which makes these flaws I so artfully hide from everyone else — or, even worse, disguise as admirable — unable to be ignored. Now, don’t get me wrong. He has flaws too. But so does every other human being on this planet.
If you’re breathing, you’re broken.
But here’s the other, ironic side of that coin. We were made for community. Part of healing this brokenness is found in cultivating community. In fact, healing can’t be complete until we do. Even in the book of Genesis, God said it’s “not good for man to be alone,” so he created Eve for Adam. We were meant to know and be known by others.
That leads me to ask, what if these relationships, these interactions with hard-to-get-alongwith people, were actually created to bring out the worst in us? What if these people don’t actually create bad reactions in us; what if these relationships are just a means by which our brokenness comes to the surface?
What if we’re meant to use these interactions to learn more about ourselves— our ticks, our hurts, our anger, our outbursts — to see our brokenness more clearly and seek healing for it?
What if this was all to point to Jesus and a relationship with him?
Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” In Romans 1, the apostle Paul talks about being “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
We desperately need deep, genuine relationships. We desperately need to deal with our brokenness. We need community. Isolation is used as a torture technique, for crying out loud! It can do crazy things to the mind and heart because it is so opposite to the life we were created to live.
Relationships require vulnerability. Vulnerability is scary. Scary things are hard. But hard things are worth the effort, worth the risk and worth your time.
Find a church. Find a community. Find a friend. Your life depends on it. Your healing depends on it. Let’s jump in. We were made for this.