“What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?”
Chorus from the song, “What if I stumble?“
Artist: DC Talk
I don't know WHY anyone would choose this quotation!!! ;o) It sometimes feels like I reflect on this aspect of my Christian journey a bit too much . . . . the experiences in which I just knew deep down in my soul, that if I made a mistake or in some way just couldn't quite "get it right," that I would be abandoned. Is that some deep-seated psychological defect? See, there I'm doing it again! Or is it that this truly is one facet of most Christians' experiences? Well, now that I'm thinking about it, probably there wouldn't be a song written about this idea of stumbling, falling, crawling, and wondering if I will still be loved if it was just me. And even if someone DID dare to write a song about all of this dysfunctional junk in the Christian communitty (and the rest of the world, too, of course . . . . but we're all reflecting on how all of this intersects with our Christian journey) - I'm sure that kind of a song would never be popular! But since someone did, and it apparently is meaningful to someone besides me (since I'm not the one who chose this quote) . . . . I guess I'm not alone after all.
It's unfortunate that we even have to have this discussion, or sing songs about this kind of experience in our "safe" little Christian community. But, since we are all human, and we all stumble and fall along the way, most of us will be on both sides of this story at some point in our journey. So I ask myself, "How have I been critical, judgmental, self-righteous, and proud when I've encountered a brother or sister who is struggling . . .. perhaps even crawling . . . . along the side of the road of life?" I know that I have. Because I am human . . . . and when I am self-righteous and judgmental, then I'm the one stumbling and falling. But as long as I look really good on the OUTSIDE, my sin of pride doesn't show up quite as obviously as the one who is wrestling with more daunting demons.
And then we have all experienced (or, if you aren't old enough to have experienced it yet, you will sooner or later!) being on the other side of this story. When my heart was breaking because of the death of a dream, I was terrified that if I was honest and let anyone know what was REALLY going on in my life, that I would be abandoned. By my Christian community. Because I just felt that it was more important to most of them that I look good, sound good, dress right, act right, say the right words, and sing the right songs, than that I have the freedom in Christ to address the problem. So I smiled and raged within for many, many years. But I looked good! But I was NOT the perfect Christian wife, mother, woman that I appeared to be. I was in a very dysfunctional situation, but acknowledging that to anyone around me was very scary. I didn't want to be rejected because I wasn't perfect.
Eventually, when I collapsed beneath the weight of the expectations of being the perfect EVERYTHING, of course, my fears were realized. Many of the people I thought were friends were too frightened and uncomfortable with the truth, so they turned their backs on me. And just as I had feared, I had been abandoned by the very people I should have been able to trust. But that is just the way it is . . . . and that was a very hard lesson to learn. We are all human, and we all stumble, and fall, and crawl . . . . . and pass judgment, and gossip, and pass on some really good stories, even if they aren't true! So, I always try to remember when I see someone struggling, that there is a story behind that face of pain, and there is a TRUE story. And that is more important than always needing to look perfect. I've been thinking about this lately for a variety of reasons, and in a recent discussion with my sweet hubby, I reminded him that "Time tells the truth." Maybe that will be my next post!
Have a wonderful Tuesday, and know that you are loved no matter where you are along the pathway of life's journey . . . . . and you don't need to be PERFECT to be loved! If we could be perfect on our own, God would not have needed to send His Son to be the Saviour of the world. He's got the WHOLE world in His hands, even and especially those of us who are not perfect! Please visit Miriam Pauline today and take a minute to visit some of the other women who are participating in this week's In Other Words.
Blessings for a peaceful week,