Imagine this: You walk out of your front door, blanket in hand, sunglasses on, the air crisp and warm as you make your way down the street, around the corner and less than a mile later you arrive at an outdoor concert.
That was my Tuesday night. The Chick Fil A around the corner from my home hosted their Brown Bag concert with Francesca Battistelli. The night was perfect for a concert, the crowd immense and even though my boys decided to forgo the experience and Neal was at a meeting I took advantage of the walk alone to pray.
This week, actually this month, has been busy with survivors coming forward. I’m so proud of every single one of them for recognizing they are worth more than holding on to shame that is not theirs and remaining in the dark. It is a grace and blessing to be witness to their courage and strength and to experience the transformation of Christ’s light and love brightening their world.
On my walk alone I prayed for each and every person I’ve come know and minister to, as well as a few that were once in my life but continue to struggle with exposing the ‘ugly’. God has shown up in countless ways drawing these survivors closer to him and though I can’t always share because it is someone else’s story I’m given the gift to soak in that same light and marvel in His love and grace for us all.
Francesca was great and then she had us all sit down. She wanted to introduce her new album cover song “If We’re Honest”.
Holy Spirit chills covered my forearms as the Texas sun beat down on my head. The lyrics couldn’t have been more appropriate:
If We’re Honest
Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I’m a mess and so are you
We’ve built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do
Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest
Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay
our secrets down at the cross, at the cross
It would change our lives
It would set us free
It’s what we need
It is amazing how God is calling out for each and every one of us to be ‘free’. Free from pretending. Free to be me. (Another Francesca Battiselli song FYI)
We hold on to our past, especially the ‘ugly’, like child holding on to her warn treasured doll that brings comfort in familiarity and consistency. But even a child eventually grows up and moves away from needing to hold onto something so beaten and bedraggled. As a child grows up they become more confident in who they are and embrace the gift of courage to self-comfort and move forward without the false security of this object.
So, too, we need to let go of our past and trust in the gift of courage we’ve been given to look ahead and into the comfort of God’s light. There might even be a time when you look back upon the past and have a sense of that nostaglia but realize “Wow it sure was worn out and grungy. Why did I ever hang on to it for so long?”
If we’re honest.