Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Finding Christ in the Middle

Ya'll I'm tired. Like the kind of tired where your body feels like a weight jacket that you are carrying around and the only way out of this tiredness is to go to sleep and never wake. I can walk around doing my own life and then WHAM! real life gets in the way: I actually read the news or log on to Facebook to see what my friends are walking through. That is no joke people. It's amazing what people will share on Facebook. I pick up a book about Sequoyah and read it to the kids on a whim  right after deciding to finally prime the devil red out of my bathroom for 4 hours all the while forgetting about a coffee date with a sweet soul sister. Call me crazy because that is exactly what I am. So here I am, really tired with so much to say and not really having the words to say it but I'm going to try anyway because I think it's something no one else is saying and you very probably need to hear it. I know I need to hear myself say it aloud.

I'm sitting here in front of my big ol' screened TV, that my oldest son is watching, my bum is on my new carpet in the "play room" of our new to us home. My heart is weary and tired. I feel like I have fought a long battle and I am waving the white flag at the expectations of others. What I read on the blogosphere these days makes my heart sink in the oddest ways. Things that used to make it pitter patter now, I find, garner resentment, anger even. I'm sure in many ways, it's my own sin that is the problem. I am forever assuming things about others and being easily offended. This is the reason (and lack of time) that I don't spend a lot of time reading blogs. And yet, there seems to be this movement of women out there with a very large microphone proclaiming to all of us in the "middle" that Jesus is only found richly among the poor...when you are serving and living among them...when we choose to live physically among them.

And we just bought a big ol' house on the West Side.

Gulp.

My days are now filled with wifing, mothering, homeschooling, running errands, serving at church, volunteering, running children to different social events and sports, and fixing up said neglected big ol' house that had been a rental for many years. And my flag is flying high. In fact, if my HOA would allow it, I would fly it right outside my garage.

Every woman wants to feel like her life's work is important. That it means something. We want to know that whatever we are pouring our lives into is meaningful. We want to give life and be life to others. We do not for a moment, want to believe that all we have done is for not. And if there is "more Jesus" over there...then we want to desperately move there because as believers, we want more Jesus. This has been the struggle of a life time for me and very probably, for you also. I couldn't have been called to live a peaceable and quiet middle class life could I?  Or maybe I am.

Maybe, just maybe my neighbors are just as broken. Maybe they just have the financial means to cover it all up. Maybe they aren't buying drugs on street corners, they are just getting them in the form of prescriptions from their doctor. Maybe their husband is a drunk and abusive. Maybe said husband is an elder at a church. Maybe their sin just isn't on display because of their ability to cover it up with their money. And maybe, this is worse in some ways. And harder in other ways. And frightening to try to figure out because the people I live around are on their guard 100% of the time and will not, for a million years, let you in to see their very real selves. They hardly let you in to see their fake selves. And if they do, they make sure it's all nice and tidy and Pintrest worthy.

Sin is no respecter of people. We find it in all classes of people. It is the great equalizer. Every person walking the face of this earth, rich or poor or smack dab in the middle has what the Prophet Jerimiah calls a, "wicked" heart and will one day have to account for that heart. Sin manifests itself differently among the different classes and there life of the poor is incomparably harder in many ways than the life I now live but I'm here to tell you, fellow middle classers, that every person needs the Gospel. We all do. People from the jungles of South America to the middle classers living right beside you here in America. Jesus did not just spend his time with one class of people--he chose 12 from all walks of life. They were a sinful lot of men from every station. A few better off than others, but spiritually speaking they were all bankrupt. This should speak balms of encouragement to your soul.

Yes, you who wonders if you are "doing enough"
or
doing the right thing
or
 if there is "more" that you are missing out on because of all the stuff you are not doing
or
if the stuff that you are doing really isn't important at all because it doesn't have you in the throes of living among the poor.

See why we're exhausted?

If there is one thing I could tell my younger self it would be: "CHILL out girl!" I spent so much of my life worrying that I was not doing enough to save the world, that I was totally discontented with my life for many years and in fact missed out on enjoying parts of my older children's younger years because I was so distracted by "what I should be doing." It's a regret that lingers heavy still.

Yes, pray for open doors, for opportunities, about that soul of yours that seems to be restless where you are at and wanting for more and you don't know what to do about it. Yes, share the Gospel. Wives, talk to your husband. Many times they are the great equalizers and keep us in check. Have hard conversations with your spouse. Do that. Yes, read the Word because you know where "more" Jesus is found? Right there, in that living and breathing Book that you own. Open it up and turn to 1 Thessalonians. Read about the good life God has for you...a quiet and peaceable life no matter the neighborhood.