I am a mess. You are a mess. We all are a mess.
Some messes are internal and some external. Some we make and some others do.
The reality is we all have our messes, no matter how hard we try to hide it. I am sure this is nothing new to anyone and is probably offensive to those in the midst of covering theirs up. My word for you today is: you are a mess and that’s okay, I am too.
Somehow in our growing up we shift from young little kids that run around, making messes with anything we touch, to adults that blush at the slightest slip-up. Somewhere in the process, we are molded to believe that we must avoid mess. Our lives have become exhausting and lonely, as we spin our tires striving to hide and clean all that we are and are experiencing. We want to portray to the world that “we are okay” while often feeling the exact opposite.
My question is what would it look like if we all began to embrace mess?
Rather than my mask interacting with your mask, what if my heart in its mess interacted with your heart in your mess?
The beauty I have found in mess is freedom; freedom to let go, freedom to live a life of whimsy, freedom from fear. We run away from mess because it tells us we have no control, but is this not the truth? We are not in control. When we let go of this false idea of control we enter into a place of freedom covered by the grace and protection of the One who is always in control. The beauty of mess is that it humbles us, reminding us that we fall down, we make mistakes, and that we are all in need of something greater beyond ourselves.
There is no better story to share from scripture than that of God’s rescue mission for a messy people and world. It’s incredible to think that a God that is always order and peace would even care to look down on a people of mess. But he does.
While the world tells us to hide our mess, to clean up, and to be perfect, Christ invites us into his perfection as we are, mess and all. The way of the world tells us to strive and to be ignorant to mess, which ultimately leads us to deny our humanity and need for the cross. The way of Christ is to defeat mess as an identity, so that we can rest in who he is, his perfection, and his resurrection. Human mess is displayed through the cross but our redemption is displayed through his resurrection. Rather than striving for a life free of mess may we open our doors wide to it.
May we embrace the hiccups life brings our way with grace and seeking. May mess bring us to experience life fully. May we invite others into the process of the journey we experience with Abba. May we enjoy the unexpected messes and surprises that cause us to lean not on our own understandings but on His. May mess lead us into the deep water of surrender to trust him and let go of control.
White Picket Fence - Flannel Graph
No Bake Cookies. Any recipe you can find and I dare you to be as messy as you can. I even dare you to not use any utensils (or as minimally as you can)!
For those who do not know me, I consider myself to be a creative type. So let’s get creative. I can already hear the worries and fears. Set those aside and grab some colorful utensils (markers, pens, pencils, paints, etc). Layout whatever colors you would like to use and grab a blank canvas, paper, …etc. Now, the creative challenge that you feared is to actually just scribble the heck out of that paper. Go crazy. Be free. Maybe even start to just write words all over it.
MAKE A MESS.
Crumble it up. Tear it. Throw paint at it. Do whatever it takes for you to make a mess out of it.
After wrecking that paper I challenge you to just sit and examine the mess. Take it in. The tears, colors, wrinkles, blemishes, cool-looking parts, ugly parts, and so on. It may sound weird but just spend some time resting/meditating over what you just experienced and what you are now looking at.
After time reflecting. I challenge you to transition into the prayer, pausing briefly after each sentence.
God of deep love and grace that surpasses any of my messes, thank you for understanding me and seeing me through it all. Thank you for your control in chaos, that I can take refuge in you. Help me trust you more with my mess and the messes that surround me. When I feel out of control, Lord help me rest in you. Remind me of your faithfulness. Thank you for your love and mostly thank you for your Son that stood in place of humanity’s mess so that I could be with you. Amen.