Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Intimacy and Exposure

We live in a world where some people take great joy in the exposure and folly of others. Some people love to mock and ridicule politicians, actors, church leaders and other public figures who have made huge mistakes in their public words and their private behaviors. We can revel in the exposed intimacy of others and we often adore gossiping about others and tearing them down. Those in the public eye are most susceptible, but most take some private pleasure in the ridicule of coworkers and friends. Human weakness and outright failure seem to give us such pleasure.

All of us have had experiences with public ridicule for our humanity, whether in the present or the past. My children get great pleasure in hearing me tell the story of how I fell down all the steps of the New York City Public Library in front of my fifth grade class. I broke nothing but my pride was terminally wounded. I wished I had died on those steps, instead of having to carry on and finish the field trip. Life is full of moments when our very broken intimacy is exposed for all the world to see.

The good news for me today is that that is exactly where God is with all of us. In the hidden and exposed moments of pure broken humanity. In our huge mistakes as well as our proudest moments. God is with us in the midst of the mess, no matter if we wore clean pants or not. None of get it right all the time and most of us get very little right from wardrobe to relationships. But for today, I hope we can remember that God is with us in the most broken, exposed places, bringing healing and transformation to these wounds we suffer and the wounds we have made.

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