Hannah & I were able to spend some quality time with this little lady & her parents last week & it was such a delight. Chandra & Kennen & Annabel were thrust into our lives almost two years ago through a random mutual coffeeshop connection & we have been so blessed because of it. Hannah & I have loved watching miss Annabel grow up, as well as talking to her parents about everything from boys to theology to what makes good coffee. they have become one of the closest things to family we have here. & in the spirit of true family, last week we cleaned the house together. what started as scrubbing & organizing in between Chandra’s hectic trips to be with her dad ended with a time of fellowship & sweet prayer together.
as we left their house, I had one of those beautiful moments where I realize, “this is a little bit of what it looks like for the Kingdom to come.” for us to work alongside each other as the Church, even in something as mundane as folding laundry feels good & right. (it even feels a little bit rebellious, kind of like giving the middle finger to suburban sprawl & proclaiming with our lives “we do not have to do this alone.”)
lots of people talk about “living in community” but I think that, sadly, so very few ever get to really do it. & as I’ve thought more about that night in the kitchen, I think I realized why. to get down deep to the big beautiful parts of community, you have to be humble & vulnerable first. if Chandra & Kennan hadn’t been willing to invite us into their messy living room, if they had been more concerned with seeming like “the perfect family,” then we would have never been able to do that little bit of life together. we might have admired how nicely their pillows match their couch, but we wouldn’t have had the privilege of learning & loving & working together. when we invite others into the messes of our lives (both literal & figurative), that is where good things start.
& the cool thing about inviting someone into your chaos is that, well, they have a mess somewhere too. maybe it’s a closet or maybe it’s a relationship… but they have one, probably more. and we are so scared– I am so scared– that irrational thoughts & messy drawers will scare others away. but maybe sometimes the exact opposite occurs. oftentimes vulnerability bolsters & comforts others, giving them the courage to return the favor, invite you into their mess. & then we can begin folding & scrubbing & healing together.
this has been an especially good lesson to muse through as I teeter on the edge of this “adult world” of lipstick & clean kitchens. although I can be scatter brained, I’m a little bit type-A deep down. (as the kid of a man with a Daytimer & a woman with a categorized Walmart list, it kinda comes with the territory.) there are areas of my life where I do not want to be real. the desire to be “put together,” to please & impress is seductive– & will probably only become more tempting with time. so as I grow up, into high heels & a real job & more responsibility than I’ve ever had, I hope I remember the lesson I learned in the kitchen… that being humble about my messes & vulnerable about my need for help will bring greater reward than I know. here’s to hoping for the grace to live deep. it really is better that way.