As I sit with my friends and listen to stories of brokenness, I'm reminded . . .
there is no room for cliches for the broken.
I've learned this from the pieces of brokenness crushed into my journey and how bitter it tastes to drink others' words when they have been mixed as cliches, phrases too common and too empty to nourish me.
Yet even with this head knowledge, sometimes I forget and the "nice," manicured clippings come out as disgustingly distant, empty attempts to cheer the wounded. Forgive me, Father. Forgive me when I've betrayed others' experiences and broken hearts by my flippant words of false peace. I am betrayer. Please, please heal me, forgive me.
One of my biggest faults is being "nice." Nice people know their cliche's well and can pick the right one for the right situation. Nice people will tell ya what you want to hear when you're aching. Nice people can be liars. I'm a nice person.
I desire to be a kind person. I want to be like Jesus. I want to only be a mouthpiece, speaking silence and words only when the Spirit desires to use human speech.
Oh Jesus, please teach me to listen to You while speaking to others. Please teach me how to offer real, healing words that REALLY represent who You are and where my friends are at. Teach me to be okay in silence. In listening and holding and loving and saying nothing sometimes.
I believe that there can be TRUTH spoken amidst pain, but in the moments when words are required, they must be watermarked in love, and they must fit within real life. Yes, YES, our God is good, and we will see His goodness in our pain, but we must remember that while God is good, sometimes our situations are NOT good. That's okay. It's okay when friends are questioning. It's okay to let them struggle through things. Sometimes we all need that period of struggling. But teach me the balance of sympathizing and empathizing, Lord. Of agreeing with them and simply standing near them while believing bigger things than they can at the moment. Is this the right way to pray about this, Lord?
Well, ha . . . this is kinda a different post, but I've been reminded of that lately. I have a really good friend who is very anti-cliche. I can tell whenever those easy, go-to Christian phrases slip out of my mouth, and he gently responds in a way that makes me think through what I'm really saying. Cliches are safe. For us. But for those receiving them, they can be destructive. As followers of Jesus, let's be creative. :) We don't need cliches to speak healing. I want to do better! Ya wanna join me?