I'm Hurting, Too

Written by ryan on

There's a great wall standing between us and others, and we probably don't even know it exists.  The truth is, we all have junk going on in our lives that makes us unbearably-human.  Or, depending on how you see it, beautifully-human.

I'm not great at sitting in the tension of personal junk.  Why bother acknowledging the yucky stuff when a good and loving God has given me so much of the good stuff?  Because in relationships, lamenting is just as healthy as joy.  God's Word has given us example after example of holy people shouting their anger and questions at God (Psalms and Lamentations, for starters), so we shouldn't feel ashamed of the same urges.  It makes our relationship with God more complete.  It creates wholeness; shalom.

Lamenting isn't complaining.  It's being honest and humble before a God that gives and takes away, hears the cries of the crushed, and comforts the suffering.  It's being broken before a God we can trust.

So, why is this especially important for worship leaders to understand?  When we hide from our brokenness, it disconnects us from others, and disconnects us from God.  Without humility in community, there is no trust.  Without trust, there is no relationship.

On Sunday mornings, we put ourselves in front of a community of broken individuals, asking them to follow us to a loving God.  I hope by now you can see that great wall forming: if we don't present ourselves in an honest and even partly-broken way, why would anybody want to follow us anywhere?  I'm not asking us to wear our sins on our sleeves, but I am asking us to embrace the hurt in our own lives, and share it with others at the appropriate times.  Logistically, you could consider a moment of humility as you call people in to worship, or as you lead people into a time of prayer and confession.

Many of us aren't natural lamenters, so all let's start waking up those muscles by reading Psalms of lament as if they were our own (or listen to my song, Psalm 88).  We'll soon find an increased capacity to hang in there when trouble comes, bear each others' burdens, and relate to the very real people we're leading.

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