Monday, December 15, 2008
So, my brother's name isn't Harry, I don't live in Bedford falls, my wife doesn't sing about the "buffalo gals," and I don't have an old man potter that is trying to destroy me - but I'm totally having a George Bailey kind of day. I have these kind of days every now and again, which is why of all the Christmas movies, I think "It's a Wonderful Life" is indeed my favorite.
Before you go looking for me on bridges, or go looking for a Honda Civic wrapped around a tree, hear me out.
George Bailey, in "It's a Wonderful Life," becomes so consumed with his circumstances, and the circumstances of others, that he goes into an existential funk. I know this all too well. And I can also relate to that feeling of resignation he feels when he utters that thought that many of us have felt when we've come that place . Maybe you've never wished you had never been born, but I know that I've had those days when I've uttered things like "I wish I would have become an accountant." numbers don't talk back, get pregnant, cut themselves, blow you off for a football game, or stop coming to your program because things aren't as fun as they were the year before. But, the truth is, you feel this as you try to minister to your friends, your family, and your co-workers.
Ministry, like life, is not for the faint of heart. And as you try to till the soil of a person's heart, you are subjected to their mess. Your vulnerability is preyed on - and it hurts. And, in the process you have those days where you are ready to give up.
God sends an angel to George Bailey to show him that at his breaking point, God is doing amazing things through him. Some days, I could really use that angel, because even though I know in my heart that how i'm trying to help someone is the right thing tio do; my head feels totally defeated when they say no, or they walk away entirely. Though my skin is thicker than it was when I got my first, "here's ten reasons why you stink" e-mail, the sting of rejection still sends me down a trail of self-doubt, frustration, and feelings of failure.
This Christmas season, I'm grateful for Jesus' vulnerabilty. His love for a stiff-necked, stubborn, resistent people is a great reminder to me of what true ministry looks like. In the end, the "wonderfulness" of life isn't found in all the perfect moments, but in all the little ways we impact one another as we walk with one another in beauty and in pain.
My Mouth's bleedin, bert!