Michael Card began his session saying,”Always lead with brokenness.” Then, he led us in a song. I scribbled the chorus into my notebook as quickly as I could. I needed to remember the words.
Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
Of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He’s waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
’cause He’s wounded, too.
I had left the house for Hutchmoot, a hard-to-describe homecoming/conference that I attend, at 5 AM last Wednesday morning. Just before I left, I had checked my email and found that Joan Jackson (see “I Prefer Substantive Discussion“), now going by the name Jay L. Richmond, had left another comment on my blog.
It was rambling diatribe full of personal attack. Here’s a snippet:
… Never let people see the real you. They would never believe the evil, delusional, egotistic, sociopathic person that hides behind [the mask]. … She has been a misfit all her life. Also, enough of the fat ,ugly, old looking pictures of yourself. You still don’t get who you really are.
I quickly copy-pasted the note to a group of trusted friends and asked them to pray for me while I drive. I didn’t want those words echoing in my mind when I needed to be concentrating on the road to Nashville.
And I didn’t. Dwell on the ugliness, that is.
When we lived in Wyoming, Bud and I stopped to see a little pine tree that had grown out of a rock in the high desert between Cheyenne and Laramie. The story goes that back in the 1860s Union Pacific engineers had noticed the little sapling and would lean out the window of the train to pour water on it as they passed.
I thought about that pine tree, now big, and the rock it grew from, now quite broken, as I returned home from Hutchmoot.
If I had to choose my theme for Hutchmoot this year, it would be brokenness.
You see, someone took a whack at me before I left, but instead of hitting me, it was as if they hit the rock instead.
And the wounded rock broke just a little more, so that, as the water of Hutchmoot was poured on me by so many passing engineers, my roots were able to grow just a little bit deeper.
Timidly I had shared my story with Leah over that first Hutchmoot meal on Thursday night. She grew quiet as she listened. Fear started squeezing my heart with its icy fingers.
Later, in the sanctuary, I asked Leah, “Do you still like me now that you know my story?”
“I love you even more,” she said.
Water on my brokenness.
So Joan Jackson or Jay Richmond or whatever you prefer to be called, thank you. And I mean that sincerely.
And dear friends old and new who spent the past weekend at The Church of the Redeemer, thank you, for all the water that is still making its way to my thirsty roots.