Have you ever explored the Enneagram? If you haven’t, you really should. It’s pretty much a personality test for those who love to read terrible things about themselves. It has been a delight to watch family, friends, and coworkers take various tests, kick against their number and eventually realize that it has made some powerful and truthful statements about who they are.
I’m a “4,” which means that I “can become so attached to longing and disappointment that [I am] unable to recognize the many treasures” in my life. Not exactly the kind of guy you would want to grab a beer with—but I’m happy to if you want to talk about everything that’s wrong with me, you, and the world.
This wallowing is a little of how I’m wired. I see problems. I see brokenness. Maybe you do as well. You look inside of yourself and see profound weakness and wonder if that will ever change. You look at others and wonder how they go through life so easily. You look out and see a world marred by injustice and inequality and you lament.
Many of our clients have walked through this brokenness. Many have come from villages torn to pieces by militias; many have been persecuted because of their ethnicity or religion; many have been stuck in cycles of grinding generational poverty; many have been victimized and assaulted by those who are closest to them and have vowed to love them to the end.
But those same clients often remind our staff that not all is brokenness, not all is shattered hopes abandoned on the shoals of a harsh reality. They have faith that has been tested in the fire of adversity. They remind us of the words of Paul, who said that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17) We can often forget that because of Christ—his life, sacrifice, and resurrection—there truly is something beautiful and new that is happening in our world. The New Creation has begun, and that is cause for rejoicing!
It is also cause for work. Right before that verse, Paul says that Christ “died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves” (2 Cor. 5:15). We rejoice that Christ has changed everything and thus we live lives of sacrifice. We pour out our lives in service to those who have been the victims of injustice, along with those mundane sacrifices on behalf of our families and friends.
May you see and be moved by the brokenness around you, living not only for yourself but for the sake of others. And may you also embrace the New Creation that Christ has begun, rejoicing in what he has done and is continuing to do by his Spirit.
Until justice and peace embrace,