The Broken Way Week 6 — Who We Serve

It’s our final session! Yes, we’re finally in week six of The Broken Way OBS!

Have you ever gone through a really tough period, a suffering season, or a trauma, when a friend stepped up and shared the pain with you… lessening your load just by coming shoulder-to-shoulder? It didn’t change your problem, in fact maybe nothing changed, except for koinonia… fellowship with someone who said, “I’m here.” Or, better yet, “Tell me more.” Or, maybe even the very best words between friends, “Me, too.”

People don’t have to be good to deserve our compassion. It’s compassion that serves good to all people. ~ Ann

It takes chutzpa to say, “Me, too”, doesn’t it? It takes both strength and the willingness to let tears flow, right? It takes compassion, empathy, and vulnerability, the willingness to share wound for wound, scar for scar. Just as Jesus did.

This week we’re in The Broken Way session 6, “Who We Serve”.

And they shall call His Name Emmanuel… God with us. — Matthew 1:23

Scripture Readings This Week

  • Romans 5:3-5
  • Psalm 36:7-9

This week for the study you will:

  1. Watch the video for Session 6 – either on DVD or right here on FaithGateway and take notes in The Broken Way Study Guide (pages 105-108).
  2. If you’re meeting with a small group, go through the “Talk About It” section (pages 109-114). These are also our questions for our Thursday online chats.
  3. For your personal study, go through the Between Sessions study questions in The Broken Way Study Guide (pages 115-122). This week we’re going to take the next step to #bethegift out of our own unique brokenness in a sacrificial way.
  4. Recommended (but optional) reading for this week: Finish reading The Broken Way – the hardcover book, not study guide.
  5. Join us on Thursday, March 2nd (optional) at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST for a live chat to discuss this week’s Session 6 question right here: http://www.faithgateway.com/broken-way-study/?live

Me, too.

This season of my life — OOF! — it’s been a whole new level of hard. Even sitting here trying to think of a way to describe it… I don’t know what to say other than that it’s just been a pressing-to-the-point-of-crushing time on almost every side (2 Corinthians 4:8-18). And, it really came by surprise — an unexpected “perfect storm” — which kind of adds to the distress in a way, as if knowing ahead of time would’ve made things easier. My kids have gone through big hurts and troubles that have become my burdens, too. Everyone has been sick with flu, fevers, vomiting, body aches, and worse – unlike we’ve ever been before. The demands on me have skyrocketed, the stress is ridiculous, the days are long and yet my mind races at night and can’t wind down enough to sleep restfully, worries have piled up all around, and there are tears, lots of tears. In the night, I find myself tossing around crying out to God even before my brain is fully awake.

Do you know what I mean?

In the middle of trouble, heck — in the middle of any season — good friends really are the salt of the earth, aren’t they? Like we talked about last week, friends bring the flavor of Jesus with them; laughter, tears, love, shared lives, shared hope, shared meals…. It’s a miracle really that God gave us this treasure of friendship, of “Me too”, of rich love for others that can bear joys and sufferings together. The weight shared is so much lighter! I’m deeply thankful for my friends who walk with me through seasons of celebration and also through troubles that would crush me to smithereens if I were to try to go it alone.

Theology is an exercise in futility… unless it’s exercised under our roofs, unless it’s exercised with our hands and our feet. ~ Ann

That’s my heartbeat for what I want to be for my kids, too — mother first and foremost, especially while they’re little, but also the lifelong friend they can always count on to be there for their highs and lows, their victories and walks of shame, sharing the burden arm-in-arm together. My theme song on repeat is “This is home. You belong here. You don’t have to be good to belong here. You have my whole heart unreservedly. You are loved before you make a mistake, loved before you’re sorry, and loved forever after. You are loved no matter what.”

But, I don’t do that very well. I fail as a mother sometimes it seems daily. In trying to help, I hurt one of my children even more. I listen badly. Or respond before I fully understand. Or try to lighten up a situation that really needs my compassion instead. It’s in my mothering that I’m so often reminded that I’m broken and I need Jesus to help me love His way, the sharpening and yet gracious way. Because my desire is to love them more and better, to share life together until we see Jesus, and to model for my kids that even in the midst of trials when stress is high and we painfully learn where we need more grace, hurts aren’t the end of the story. Troubles, even unexpected ones, aren’t the end of the story. And, brokenness definitely isn’t the end of the story… not by a long shot!

I want to always point my kids to Jesus.

Because there’s one Friend I could never, ever do without. In those midnight hours tossing around with unsolvable problems that steal sleep, I call out one Name.

I cry out because I know Who hears me. It’s Jesus.

You know, I used to be uncomfortable with the crucifix. Jesus — stripped, beaten, thorn-crowned, nail-spiked, and hung on an inhuman instrument of torture.

My heart would shout and fist-pump the sky, “No! Christ is victorious! Jehovah-nissi under whose banner we go from triumph to triumph! My King Jesus isn’t nailed to a tree anymore! He is risen indeed! Glory, hallelujah!”

And, that’s true… but I’ve grown to cherish the image of the wounded El Shaddai. Almighty, yet broken… for you and me.

Because of His life on earth in flesh and blood, because of rejection, and poverty, and oppression, and suffering, Jesus knows firsthand the path of pain. Because of the Cross, Jesus can look at us with compassion and empathy and say, “Me, too.”

It’s ok to be not ok. ~ Ann

Jesus is God with us.

And, because of His, “Me, too”, even if nothing changes, even if things (God forbid) get busier, more stressful, and more painful, it will be better even then just because I know Jesus is shoulder-to-shoulder with me in the thick of it. And, He’ll never walk away.

Wound for wound, scar for scar, He knows and He cares.

The One who collects my tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8), cried, too.

That’s the epicenter, isn’t it? It’s the truth I’ll never stop sharing with my kids because I know it can change their joys and also their griefs and difficulties to something beautiful, to something profoundly shared… by God Himself.

The brave always have broken hearts. ~ Ann

Jesus’ “Me too” changed the world. Let’s be brave enough to let our “me too” change the world, too!

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, thank You for taking on humanity for us. Thank You for suffering the indignity of becoming one of us so that You know what we go through, what life and hardships are like, what brokenness is. The thought is beyond comprehension! You became one of us to be with us. Thank You that we can always trust You to never leave us, that when we struggle and hurt and become overwhelmed with tears, You come along saying, “Me too.” We love You! Amen.

Let’s Chat

Come share your comments on being a “Me too” friend who points others to our King Jesus on our blog. We want to hear your thoughts!

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Laurie McClure

Laurie is a Jesus apprentice, a single mama of five (three homegrown, one Kentuckian, and one Ethiopian), a writer, beach lover, and is addicted to radical grace, Perrier, and yoga pants. Here at FaithGateway she is the editor, the leader of Faith.Full, our women's community, and curator of Devotionals Daily.

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