The Book of Psalms contains many laments (Psalms that recognize the hardships in life). These poems and prayers call out to God naming the pain, troubles, and struggles of the writer and asking God for help. One clear theme in the bible is that God loves to hear from his people, loves to hear of their joys and of their pains, loves when we reach out him with honesty no matter how raw.
It occurs to me that this is also true in life. I often feel closest to those who are most vulnerable and raw with me. Those willing to guffaw at something most people wouldn’t find funny and those who are willing to cry with me or tell me about their currents fears. When one man speaks to another of the struggles in a marriage, the disconnect between father and child, or concerns about their status at work, the two men become closer instantly. It also permits the listener to feel more courageous in sharing what is truly going on in their own life. When we do this we interact as God would have us do.
I believe there is something divine that happens when two people meet with truth and get beyond the mundane gripes of the world. In Ottawa this means getting past politics, the LRT debacle, the Convoy, the Senators, and many other such topics and getting into topics about how we are actually doing. What struggles and fears, what joys and hopes, what changes and adaptations are we going through? Getting to this level is a gift to the person we are speaking with.
Sure, this can be a weird form of manipulation and no one likes that, but such a conversation would be a caricature of what I am writing about. I am not speaking of trying to control each other but of trying to connect more meaningfully with each other.
This Advent and Holiday season, I want to encourage you to think about who you might be more open with, who you might gift your weakness and vulnerability to. To build courage think of how such interactions have drawn you closer to others; think of a time when someone shared something Important with you. To build strength consider practicing this by first praying or journalling to God about some of your deepest fears and worries or your most soul lifting thanksgivings.
Imagine what our tables will look like, imagine how much love and closeness and deep the sense of belonging everyone would feel if only we could express ourselves more deeply and honestly and fully!