The Green Demon refused to start this week. It made for a very bad day.
The Green Demon is a 1995 Subaru Legacy that The Scientist has been driving for about a year. It's my parents' car. They had it laying around, and when a need came up, they were happy to share. But it's a really old car, and as most really old cars are, it's unpredictable in the whole "actually working" department.
Monday, it wouldn't start at all. We decided the time was right to get a different vehicle, even though the thought of a new payment wasn't all that appealing. We could afford it, but it would mean a much tighter budget and no more sushi. Neither of those sounded appealing. Nevertheless, we set out car shopping. Then, over the course of the day, we were hit with what my father refers to as a "gotcha." It's something that seems to come at you from left field, and Gotchas are usually game changing. They are the things that happen that you can't really plan for, and are never ready to deal with. They are your washing machine going out when your paycheck didn't electronically deposit or your savings having to be spent on a freak medical issue that you didn't realize you had. It's the kind of gut punch that leaves you trying desperately at the end of your day to count your blessings, because surely in this giant mess of crap, you still have some somewhere.
This one was most certainly a Gotcha, and it meant that buying a car would have to be put on an indefinite hold. We made our way home in silence, trying to get to somewhere in our heads that didn't involve mentally curling up in the fetal position. It was a long drive home.
The next day, my father spoke up and suggested that we just continue to fix the Green Demon. "It's bought and paid for, and as long as it's not a huge fix, you might drive this thing for another two years...or even 10 years! It's a good car if we just try to keep it running." So that's the plan, for now. We're thankful for the providence, and have mentally added it to the list of our blessings.
And then, at 5 this morning, I couldn't sleep and had a rather insane need to write. It's no secret that I've been in brokenness for the last few years. It's no secret that I've been angry at God. It's no secret that I've made mistakes and done things I wish I could take back. But something amazing has been happeneing to me in the past year. God has been moving past all of the brokenness in a healing effort. He's been using it in my career as a therapist, and I'm seeing so many ways that I am so much more effective at my calling because of my life experiences. He's right smack dab in the middle of using all of this mess for GOOD, and Praise Jesus that He has the power to make that happen.
But I was hit with something early this morning. There are some people who still only see my brokenness. I realized that it's this way with so many Christians. They look at people and see their brokenness before anything else. I spent a lot of my time with Christians like this. For many years, I was this Christian. But God has changed me, and I'm realizing that His vantage point is a bit different. Yes, he sees the brokenness. Yes, he sees the mess. Yes, he sees the long road of healing ahead. But before any of that, He sees the person's worth. He sees someone He loves, and He sees someone He sent his son to die for: the meek, the broken, the weary, the weird, and the wild.
We spend entirely too much time judging the brokenness of others, when what we are called to do is love them for their inherent worth. Christians, in my experience, are the worst at this. If you want to be judged by your actions and looked down upon by your peer group, hang out with a bunch of over zealous Christians who are trying to win favor with God.
I want to play with the people who get it, who can see WHO Christ died for before they see WHY He had to. I want to be the person who encounters someone's brokenness and is unphased by how far they have to go, because I know a God who calls them worthy of redemption along the way. I want to worship with other Christians who are redefining the societal view of Christianity by loving others in their primary language. People everywhere are broken, and people everywhere need healing. But I've learned something:
It doesn't matter that you are broken. It only matters that you are paid for.