When we love people, we invite their brokenness and mess into our lives. Mess is inconvenient; it takes our time, energy, and sometimes money to make it better. Despite our efforts, the mess can not be fully contained. It spills over and touches the people who dare to stand near.This quote by Lisa Qualls was shared by a friend of mine. It is absolutely, 100% true.
The other night I asked my husband if it bothered him that he married someone who is always wanting to "fix" things. I've most definitely been criticized for that before, and I wondered if the person who is closest to me and is most affected by it was bothered.
I can't tell you how I felt when he responded, "I don't think it's about having a personality that wants to fix things. I think it's about loving people like Jesus." He couldn't have given me a higher compliment. That is most definitely my goal but generally I just feel like a hot mess.
And then when I read that quote I thought maybe I feel like a hot mess because relationships are messy and people are messy and how in the world you can you put two messy people in a messy relationship and expect anything but messiness . . . and LOVE.
I can't tell you the joy I get from the messy relationships I'm in. My most content moments are when I leave one of those messy people after having an in-depth conversation about our brokenness, our need and the Saviour who has provided for all of it.
I like my life tidy. I like for things to have a place and be in that place. I like for my relationships to go smoothly and be mutually fulfilling and supportive. If you know me, you know my life isn't any of those things. And there's a good reason - because it's not about me. It's about God working in me and working in the people around me to make us what He wants us to be . . . and that is dadgum messy, people.
Jesus was all about reaching out to the poor, helping the oppressed, loving even your enemies. Don't you think if He sat down and had coffee with you today, He would tell you, "Most definitely, relationships are a mess worth making."