Monday, January 26, 2009

Me Too

I'm sorry to keep going on and on about one tiny little verse- half of a verse!  But I ran across this and I want to share . . . 
In 1 Cor 9 Paul writes that "to the Jews I became like a Jew," and then "to those under the law I became like one under the law," and then "to those not having the law I became like one not having law," and then he concludes with "to the weak I became weak."

There's a glaring absence in his list.  The opposite of being "under the law" is "not being under the law."  The opposite of weak is . . . Paul doesn't mention it.

After the "to the weak I became weak" part should have said "and to the strong I am strong."

But he doesn't say that.

He doesn't say he's become strong to those who are strong.

He only says he's become weak to the weak.

If you've ever been to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, you know what this is like.  An AA meeting is a room full of people who are done pretending.  There are no facades.  There is no acting.  And it's overwhelmingly powerful.  Everybody in that room is in recovery from addiction, and they all know each other's games, masks, and manipulations.  A whole world of posturing and pretending is simply absent.  You're there because you have hit bottom, at least most of the time, and you need others who knows how it feels.

Write Anne Lamott says that the most powerful sermon in the world is two words:  "Me too."

Me too.

When you're struggling,

when you are hurting,

wounded, limping, doubting,

questioning, barely hanging on,

moments away from another relapse,

and somebody can identify with you-

someone knows the temptations that are at your door,

somebody has felt the pain that you are feeling,

when someone can look you in the eyes and say, "Me too,"

and they actually mean it-

it can save you.

When you aren't judged,

or lectured,

or looked down upon,

but somebody demonstrates that they get it,

that they know what it's like,

that you aren't alone,

that's "me too."

Paul does not say, "To the strong I become strong."

He only says, "To the weak I am weak."

-Rob Bell
Jesus Wants to Save Christians


Heather of the EO said...

Whoa. Please don't apologize for continuing with your thoughts on weakness. This is truly profound stuff and you're articulating it very well. Thank you.

RobinLS said...

Amen! Christians are so good at giving pat answers, without truly trying to walk in another's shoes and love the one that is hurting. We serve a God of hope. Why is it so hard for us to reflect that hope to others?
: )

ryan s. said...

i've been meaning to check out this book for quite some time. now i realize that i need to do it soon.

thanks for sharing your heart on this, jess. i don't believe we can ever hear it enough.

charrette said...

me too.