A few years ago I was in a horrible argument. I had sent a text I should have never sent. The minute I pushed send,I knew I had made a mistake. I had severed a relationship that I valued.I took and still take full responsibility for my part. But what happened after was not at all what I had expected. I began to apologize and plead that the people on the other end of the message hear me, it was not my finest moment. I explained that what I had sent meant something that they did not understand. One person in the conversation within hours was at my dining room table and we were figuring it out. We were hearing each other. I cried and asked for forgiveness and she showed mercy and let the healing process begin. The other person never did. In fact things just kept getting worse. I felt like a little kid, faced pressed against the glass of the classroom, that everyone could see but no one could hear. That I was never given the chance to tell the whole story.
The last few days I think a lot of us feel that way. That we are not being heard.
A few weeks ago when the Christian community took Jen Hatmaker to the shed for an interview that she did with Jonathan Merritt, it stirred the same feelings inside of me.
No one was hearing her.
No one was asking her any questions. We were just putting down the books and blogs and picking up the stones.
No one asked her what in her life had changed that her views had now shifted. No one invited her to the table to be heard. No one asked what had broken and how could they see more clearly.They just let her stand outside of the window with her face pressed to the glass trying to be heard. But immediately we shut the door, turned our backs and dismissed the voice we had all been worshipping and tweeting for years.
I am not saying you have to agree with her. I am not even saying you have to ever had to read another blog. But what I am saying is that maybe we need to start asking questions.
Maybe it is time again to hear.
I think if people that have known me for a long time would look at my life in the last two years they would say that I have changed. That my views and stances have shifted. That something is different.They are right. I have. But to know why, that is not for the world to know. My people know. My circle knows. And to many of my conservative acquaintances they would perhaps argue that I am not following Jesus the way they believe I should be. That I don’t fit in a box anymore.
But they do not know the whole story. They do not know my why. They do not know the shattered parts.They will just leave me in the hall with my face pressed to the window.
I feel that we are all have our faces pressed to the window this week. We all want to be heard, but no one is brave enough to open the door.
Or if the door is opened it is met with
“God is in control”, “ You need to trust in God”, “God bless our new president”, “You need to respect him”,“The election is done”,” This doesn’t affect me”,
But friends what if we responded with” let me hear you…..”
Let me hear what in your life happened or is happening that you feel so strongly about this.
Let me sit with you in this grief and not say anything.
Let me open up my house and give you a seat at the table.
Let me understand you more.
Let me just hear your story.
You see we all have stories. Some of our stories are broken and bruised and raw. And if we continue to only know a piece of the story and respond the way we are, we will continue to keep the door shut.
Instead of pushing each other out of the classroom into the hall, with our faces up to the glass, we let each other in.
We hear the pain. We hear the fear. We hear the families. We see our neighbors.
We realize that to dismiss a person for one check-mark, that we have reduced ourselves to the same.
“Somehow I wonder if it’s in shattered places, with broken people, we are most near the broken heart of Christ”- Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way