Tuesday, March 15, 2011


A rusted screw is lubricated to fit tightly into the corroded oil pan of an old truck. When two things rust, especially two things that should have a bond, there must be a foreign agent introduced to get past the dirt, grime, dust, and rust, a softening blow to the otherwise unbelievably volatile collision of two hardened objects.

Tears are life’s lubricant, bonding agent, in harsh times.

I sat bewildered, overwhelmed, ashamed, angry, and a gambit of other emotions that ranged in diversity as much as a collection of pogs (if you don’t know what those are you missed out on a terribly pointless game of the 90s). Tears welled up in my eyes as I sat at the table with familiar faces of present and past. Anger, resentment, pride, shame, mourning, and humility were all united by an unexpected happening. Moments like these maybe happen only a handful of times in our lives; moments where, for the first time, you are faced with yourself, the unadulterated version that beckons reconciliation, honesty, and progressive thoughts. I sat at a local coffee shop surrounded by strangers as life’s lubrication softened the hard heart I’d been running from for so long.

I once moved to a city across the country, far removed from anything I knew to help start a community of faith, a church. I was full of zeal, but lacking wisdom and knowledge. Inexperienced and quite irresponsible I was quickly placed in leadership and given a voice I never should have had. The tears began to roll down my face as I sat at the table, staring into nothingness, considering the amount of people I had hurt with my pride, arrogance, and foolishness. I had placed the blame on so many for so long, but in that moment that morning I was struck with the reality that no one else had to bear that responsibility but me. No more finger pointing for the runaway boy from Downtown Indianapolis. A tough exterior crumbled beneath the weight of that realism. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I contemplated how many I had hurt. I am long and far removed from those circles of people and communities. The reality of who I am to them lies in my past, the boy I have grown out of, but they don’t know that. I was overwhelmed with the idea of proving myself and how much I had changed to the large amount of people I had hurt in one way or another.

As I confided in a friend about how overwhelmed I was by trying to prove myself and how much I had changed to all the people I hurt there were three words that broke through. Certain words are needed, only particular expressions will break through in moments like these. In my moment 3 words spoke to me on a spiritual level unlike any I had heard before. Something was beautiful about those three words and the discussion to follow on that day. This isn’t your typical love story though. I Love You wasn’t said, although it was in so many more words, in such an abstract way.

“We’re all fucked!”

Said one of the most genuine, humble, godly men I have had the good fortune of spending time with. He continued, “That’s the beauty of the gospel man, we’re all fucked, and it takes care of that for us, we don’t have to prove anything.” This is not to say we don’t take responsibility though, that is mostly the point of this writing.

Hear me clear, may my words infiltrate your mind and soul deeply now: I am so sorry if you have been one of the many victims of my past. My arrogance and lack of knowledge led me to say, do, and not do many things for which I can never go back and change. I accept and fully acknowledge who I have been and who I am becoming. I am a broken man, capable of much good and much evil. I have unfortunately allowed myself to act on much more evil than good in some of my dealings in the past. I ask that in your time you find it in your heart to forgive me and my brokenness. I know I have searched to find the negative, the bad, the flaws in others and in the organization I felt I was hurt by. I am sorry that many of my past writings have been to tear down the church instead of build her up. I was faced with the reality of who I have been that morning. I can be a harsh man, life is rough, and tears were needed to make a much needed bond. Life’s lubricant allowed me to see what I needed to see and hear what I needed to hear.

I realize I’ve been given a gift, a voice that is heard. That day I was told you can do three things with a gift: squander it, use it for good, or use it for evil. I recognize the harm I’ve done with this gift in some writings. The tears have dried, but I have not forgotten that day, it has impacted me, scarred me, and changed me. The future looks a lot brighter after the tears cleared.

If you’ve ever found yourself carrying burdens around, like me, remember, Jesus tells us to throw them on him. He says his yolk is easy and his burden is light. If it feels different than that it may not be Jesus at all. Don’t let guilt and shame hold you down, don’t run from your past, face it, take responsibility, and learn from it. “We’re all fucked!” True statement, as abrasive as it may come across, it is the truth of the gospel, Jesus forgives and offers a new way of life, one where we can live free from feeling like we have to prove anything.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate the honesty in this post. It feels strange to be so transparently able to read into someone's life via the non-relational "next blog" button. But I can say that I've been in the situation you describe, where everywhere you look you can see a mess that you made, and I agree with your conclusion it's the Gospel that offers hope- to believers and unbelievers alike.

    Thank you pointing out that God's grace brings us from fucked to freed, and for reminding me how much I have to be thankful for as a result. May God bless your writing and may your words impact many with the truth, for His glory.