And it’s okay to admit it.
Well, not according to our society.
According to our society, we need to be “great” and we need to be “busy” and the kids need to be “awesome” and the family needs to be “happy” when they get to church on Sunday.
According to our society, our kids need to be playing three or four sports (or if not that many, then they need to be on two or three leagues in addition to school play.) There’s a field down the street from us where I’ve seen them getting ready for a soccer game at 10:00 on a Sunday morning. And this is in one of the areas of the country that has the highest number of churches per capita?
According to our society we need to drive the new SUV or the really cool Lincoln that Matthew McConaughey drives. And if we drive one of those, then all will be well.
Except it isn’t.
And something is missing.
It feels fake, it feels hollow.
It leaves us wanting more.
And then we realize, the reason it feels fake is because it is fake.
Everything is not okay.
We live in a broken world. Kids misbehave, jobs get eliminated, bad stuff happens.
Some of it is just a little bit bad.
Some of it is really really “cry on the floor” bad.
Some of it is, “I don’t think I can make it” bad.
And our society thinks it’s healthy to ignore that pain?
And many of our churches don’t know what or how to help someone who struggles?
A good friend of mine who I had the privilege of serving on church council once said it quite well, “If we can fix it with a casserole, great! If not, well, never mind.”
Most of the pain in this world doesn’t show on the surface.
Most of the pain can be hidden through fake smiles and nice clothes.
A lot of the pain can be hidden through off the cuff comments, “Good.” Or “Busy,” or “fine and you?”
But that doesn’t show the real person underneath.
It doesn’t show the damage that was done by past trauma.
It doesn’t show the real struggles that make it hard to get out of bed.
It doesn’t show the fractured relationships and the financial struggles and the…….
It’s not healthy, people. It’s not healthy to live essentially in hiding.
One of the reasons that so many people are frustrated with the church is because too many people at church are faking it.
They aren’t dealing with their struggles, they aren’t acknowledging that all is not perfect.
And they aren’t giving their friends the opportunity and the privilege to support them in their struggles.
Yes I said privilege. Some of my closest friendships are with people who I’ve been given the privilege, the pain and the deep sensitivity that comes from someone saying, OUT LOUD, ‘I’m not okay!”
It’s okay to not be okay. This is a broken world we live in.
It’s also okay to admit it.
By admitting when you are not okay, you give others the chance to be the hands and feet of Christ and you contribute to a healthy dose of realism that the world needs.
There’s too much fake, there’s not enough real.
And that’s not okay.