I've written a lot of things over the years for a variety of reasons and for different types of people. Magazine articles, blog posts, guest blog posts, letters - oh so many letters - and emails to people in an effort to encourage and exhort them in their current situation.
So today I thought, what story do I know? What story could I write?
The truth is, I know only one story. I've heard a lot. I've considered many stories, read more, and scratched out outlines of a few. But only one do I truly know.
I know a story of broken people. Of men leaving the wives of their youth and justifying it any way they see fit. I see articles about hacked websites, each name representing a broken home, a broken family, a broken heart, a broken will, a broken life.
I see broken women paying professionals to break the bones of their babies, professional liars exploiting these women broken and deceived for the purpose of money and fame.
I see broken children picking up the pieces of what their broken fathers have left behind, their mothers weeping.
I weep with the broken as I consider their burdens and I find myself wondering what kind of victory this is. What kind of Christian lives are we leading, bruised and beaten and where is Joy?
This is the story I know. The one I see played out over and over. And over.
Perpetual is the broken life and the existence therein is desolate and lonely. Hope weeps and so do I.
It's easy to look around and doubt the Holy Spirit. Doubt His power, or as our late pastor, doubt His very existence. If He is powerful, how come He isn't keeping His children from sin?
But there's more to the story.
Christianity is entirely based upon a broken people in need of a Redeemer. We cannot use the fact that people are broken to disprove or doubt a religion that is based on the very fact that people are broken.
God looked down and said, "You are broken." Then He came down and they broke His bones and He said, "My body is broken for you." Then He defeated hell, walked out of a tomb, and said, "Come to Me," and we look around at the brokenness and think, "Where are you, O Lord?"
And He looks at His hands, the skin broken on our behalf, and He says, "Don't you see? It's why I came."
If we weren't broken, we wouldn't need a Redeemer. If there were no Ashley Madison accounts, no adulterers, no fatherless children, no women being raped, no children being abused, no racism, no women afraid to go to their own homes, no women wishing they could...if we were whole, completely whole, then we wouldn't need Jesus. Our Bible only rings true if we recognize the hellhole in which we live. The broken world that spins so rapidly, I fear we are dizzy from the sin soaked ride. The Bible makes sense only IF His people are broken.
He knew the story far before we did. He wrote the story, the broken world pining for holy and falling short. I look around at the story unfolding in front of me and I feel broken. I feel lost.
I feel short on hope. As if there is none left for the taking.
Then I remember Jesus. And I remember every story has several chapters. Every good story has a redemptive theme. Our Father's story is no exception; it's the only one I really know. And the only one I herald as Truth.