It’s a puzzling thing to be a human. We are a living paradox.
As a Christian, I found over time that I began to associate humans with a negative connotation. Slowly a shadow stretched over the weaknesses of my flesh. Some hard things happened in my life, and deep wounds were created on many levels, that affected my whole world, in every direction I looked. I began to despise the pain. I began to shame my weakness. I hated my overwhelming emotions, and my lack of power to change the situations, and my trust that was abused, and my love that was rejected, and I grew frustrated with why my Creator would make such a creature. We are sinful, we are broken, we hurt each other, and even with the best intentions it still turns out a failure.
I began going through the motions of life. I sought to control my reactions. I sought to minimize my investments. I would exist, I would labor, but I would do so at a safe distance. I will make the logical choices, and the right choices, like a robot.
I choose to abandon my humanity and become a machine that works like a gear. I will apply my discipline to tame my faulty flesh and render it powerless over me.
Slowly….slowly…..the joys and smiles fell from my days. The hours were about tasks, lists, and projects. People were in the way and they sucked up so much time. I had trouble understanding the value of people. I respected life, but the repeated ignorance or just outright evil that persisted was enough to turn my attention. I told myself I was never cut out to be a human. I was frustrated with the number of interactions I had to have with others. I thought I could carve up the bits and pieces of life, of my humanity and only play some of the notes in the music.
I was wrong. This forced conformity brought death.
I didn’t know it, but the pains of this life had put me in this place. The leaving of people I love, the silence that remains. The death of life dreams at the hands of others. Yourself poured out and gone in dry cracks.
I read a blog on pain. In all my analysis of my humanity, I never saw it was pain that was the bully. I blamed myself for not being able to control my responses. I blamed others for their part in the tragedy. I even blamed my Creator for making me so weak and needy. But it was pain that held the handle to the knife in my heart.
I then remembered; life used to not be like this. I remembered living with passion, and with risky faith, and with smiles, and with prayers for others on my lips.
I had allowed the pain to kill the good bits of life. I talked with a friend and then I talked with God. He began to show me the good things about being human. We are created in His image after all. Too much negative “spiritual talk” can paint our humanity in a bad light. Always dogging our sinful nature and criticizing our faults and failures. But this is rooted in pride, another sneaky bully. I also felt I had made mistakes that must have caused the pain. If I had done a better job or been more Christ-like, it might not have ended the way it did.
You are no more a sinner than I or anyone else.
Your need for Jesus is not greater than mine or anyone else.
We must defer judgment of ourselves and defer to God's.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. ~Psalm 139:14
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10
He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. ~Psalm 18:19
So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~Genesis 1:27
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed [it was] very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. ~Genesis 1:31
Our wounds, our imperfections, our slip-ups give opportunity for Grace and Glorification of our Creator. Would we silence our voices if we couldn't hide our typos, errors in grammar, and spelling mistakes? I hope not. There is greater value on the expression of the soul over getting it all correct.
So, I let God heal my pain, and I let go of trying to damage-control my own existence. I was ready for this change and welcomed it, after living the ill effects of it all. Mostly it kept me from people and people from me and Jesus that lives in his disciples serving one another.
I seek to look for beauty in humanity, and humans and trust the Creator.
Psalm 30:9, 11-12, "What profit [is there] in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? ... 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever."