We’ve all heard it. That confused, perhaps slightly accusatory proclamation that could mean anything from, “You look great, so you must BE great.” To ”I’ve been misled.” If you look great today, than you must look and feel great every day, right? Surely you’ve been complaining for no reason.
I will now tell you an earth-shattering secret. Looks can be deceiving. At some point we’ve all made the determination not to be defined by our circumstances, whether good or bad. You are not your marriage troubles or your financial difficulties even though you may be experiencing those. And me? I am more than sickness and every day I choose not to be defined by the set of circumstances in which I find myself.
So yes, sometimes that means taking my shaky hand- defying sickness and putting some eyeliner on. It might mean that you don’t need to hear about my full list of ailments every.single.time we get together because I am more than ailments. We can talk about more than symptoms and you don’t always have to know that it’s excruciating to walk. Just like there will be some days that you choose to share the details of the big fight and ask for prayer and days when you take them straight to the cross, days when you confess to me that you lost the battle of judging others yet again and days when you go to a quiet place before the Lord and find grace. You are more than your battle and so am I. So when I see you, hours after the big fight, full of joy and ministering to others I won’t believe for a second that you are pretending, or that you aren’t impacted by these things. I’ll just remember that you are more than your battle and you choose not to let that battle define you. Maybe you could do the same for me?
Can I share with you that the inverse is also true? We are more than our bad days. I’m going to say it again. We are more than our bad days. Should you see me on the worst of days and be convinced that I am at the end of my rope- mere steps from my grave- could I gently remind you that not all of your bad days are lovely to behold? Could we wipe some grace all over them and love each other anyway? Regardless of the circumstance bad days, hours, months, years will happen. You don’t have to hide yours from me for me to love you or for Jesus to love you. I’m not afraid of your bad days and neither is he. Can we agree on grace and understanding for the bad days? I’m not talking about a sloppy excuse for poor behavior kind of grace. I’m talking about a we’re doing the absolute best we can with what we have and Jesus knows it and empowers us and loves where we are kind of grace, imperfections and all.
Could we offer that kind of love and grace to one another? To the world? Could we celebrate the good days with one another without suspicion? And could we meet one another with love and grace in the bad days without judgement? How healing would that be? Guys, we’re all just PEOPLE that Jesus was so massively in love with that he died on the cross for. I’m not any cooler than you. And being not sick doesn’t actually make you any cooler than me. So what if we stopped playing whose cooler and we started playing who can love the most like Jesus? I think it just might change the world.