Hot Pastor and I were having another family over for lunch after church.(Don’t worry sweet family, I will not reveal your identity.) I’ll call them the Victims. Amazingly, I had prepared ahead of time and thought to myself, “We are all set. Easy lunch.” Insert laughing and mocking in the background.
I won’t bother with the details and order of events- I don’t want to spend that much time reliving it. I’ll just hit the highlights. Our dog peed on the carpet, my son spilled hot soup on Mr. Victim’s hand, shoe, and the floor. Hot Pastor started a fire in the fireplace using lighter fluid which set off the smoke detectors. We then had to open the doors to get the fumes out of the house. It’s cold outside, so we provided blankets. The son who spilled the soup felt so badly that he was in hiding and wouldn’t come eat lunch. While the children were playing, one son got locked out of the house by his older sister. He was so embarrassed and angry that he stormed through, slamming his door and started crying (loudly). Another son was hit in the face while fighting over a play sword so he stomped up the stairs and hid in his closet crying (more loudly than the other son).
Later, after the Victims had gone home, Hot Pastor said, “there’s no way to sugar coat that.” He is right. Our friends got an uncensored, unedited look into our life. If they still want to spend time with us, we will know that they are truly okay with our mess. If not, we will completely understand.
My question is why do we try to clean it up or hide it? Our messiness, I mean. Why did I even think that yesterday’s lunch would go smoothly? It was like living a few hours in a sitcom, but I feel confident that the Victims can relate in some way. It was almost like God let us have a ridiculously crazy afternoon to remind me of that.
What if our friends actually needed to see that even Hot Pastor’s family is nuts? If we all try to create an image of perfection, we are really missing out on authentic relationships. Connections happen when we find common ground, and let’s face it- we are all messy and in need of grace.
Let’s walk through our messes together today. Let’s be brave enough to be transparent. I promise, the girl you think has it all together does not. She hid dirty dishes in her oven and would die if you looked in her coat closet. The family that you envy has their own struggles. Find freedom in owning your mess. Sharing yours may open the door to freedom for someone else.