I'm not OK so it's OK that you're not OK.
“What you did wasn’t that bad.”
“I can totally see why you fell into it. I would have done the same thing.”
“Everybody has their stuff. Nobody has the right to judge you.”
These are words friends speak to friends. Words of comfort.
These are words we offer trying to make room inside ourselves for the hard truths of those we love.
We humble ourselves.
We make sure that we are safe, and all of this is good. We should be tender to the broken.
But our tenderness is not enough.
Our tenderness is not enough.
Our tenderness is not enough because our forgiveness can’t heal.
Our culture has grown so ashamed of the idea of sin that
we’ve forgotten how to welcome one another into honest penitence.
We have replaced the gospel with,
“I’m not OK so it’s OK that you’re not OK.”
But that is not the solution, because we are not the solution.
Life-changing grace is not a commodity that you and I can dispense with human empathy or with human blessing.
(How strange that we have come to believe that we have the power to absolve!)
It is not our humility that cleanses, it is God's.
As we embrace those we love with all the best intentions,
we must never stand between the Healer and that which needs to be healed.
A real friend does not deny the infirmity.
She kisses the wound, but only just before she cuts a hole in the roof
to lower the wounded down into the presence of Jesus.
She names the disease,
she hates the disease,
she fights the disease,
she takes the disease seriously, for the disease is lethal.
Friends, in our gentleness we must still let wrong be wrong
so that wrong can be made right.
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Art: "Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone)" by Frida Kahlo