For Messy People Everywhere

Anybody that knows me fairly well can’t help but know some of my flaws and failures.

As much as I’d like to be an extremely private person, I tend to live my life out there where others can see.

Sometimes that out there persona engenders ridicule and criticism.
Sometimes the engendered ridicule and criticism means I’ll end up showing more of my failures and flaws.

It’s a vicious cycle.

On the other hand, living my life out there for all to see can also engender healing.
My healing often begins as I discover others walking alongside me.
From a different perspective, the healing of others is sometimes made possible as they come to understand how un-alone they really are…

So in the interest of being transparent and finding common ground, you should know…
I struggle with food and eating and eating too much.
I don’t take care of myself as well as I should.
I struggle with confidence.
I wrestle with my self-worth.
It’s hard for me to not be in control.
I hardly ever feel as if I am good enough or that I bring true value to the table.
I struggle with not being a victim.
I live with regrets and guilt…

Those are just some of my struggles. There are many more.
Many, many more…
Remember the proverbial you haven’t yet touched the hem of the garment?
Yeah…

I tell you these things not because I want you to make me feel better about myself.
(Here’s another one of my flaws: I probably wouldn’t believe you anyway.)
No, I tell you because being transparent and vulnerable means being honest with you and being honest with myself.

“Hi, my name is Les Ferguson, Jr. and I am 52 years old. I am a mess. Some might call me a hot mess, which is much, much messier than a plain old vanilla mess.”

Sometimes I think my mess is too messy to ever be cleaned up. But amazingly enough, I belong to the God who is not intimidated by messes! I belong to the God whose imagination is so much greater than mine. I belong to the God who takes my flaws, failures, and ongoing messes and gets creative.

Every time I turn around my pain, hurt, and anger is given the opportunity to help someone else who is struggling.
The more I help others, the less painful my mess is…

As it turns out, ministry is messy because it is a sharing of messes

The Irish band U2 just released a new album last week. I am not an expert on the band. I have been a low-key fan over the years and that’s about the best way I can say it. But this new record has captivated me—and it will take Bono himself to tell me I am wrong… But I am convinced the lyrics to Song for Someone are about Jesus…

You’ve got a face not spoiled by beauty
I have some scars from where I’ve been
You’ve got eyes that can see right through me
You’re not afraid of anything they’ve seen

I am not quite at the point where I can thank God for my mess—and I may never get there, but I am thankful for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will yet do… I am thankful for eyes that can see right through me and are unafraid of the mess I have made…

I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121:1-2)

Messily yours,
Les Ferguson, Jr.

8 thoughts on “For Messy People Everywhere

  1. I am part of a group of people who promote better health and the ability to leverage our time to a financial benefit. Our Motto is “BE MORE”. Having said that, one of our motivational cries is “Make your Mess your Message”. Over the past two years of dealing with the loss of my son, I have noticed that the more I focus on helping others, the more my body, mind and spirit have a chance to heal. Its like when you have a wound. If you sit around doing nothing except focusing on that wound, you may have a tend to pick at it and keep it raw and it takes longer to heal. But if you get busy and take your focus off of your wound, it heals quicker.
    Just a thought…. Make your mess your message.

    • Roma! Yes! Since the murders of Karen and Cole, that’s what I have tried to do. I have spoken in numerous places and always looking for more opportunities–and since I have been afforded the opportunity to be a full time minister again, my mess has informed every part of my ministry. Using my pain to help others is a blessing I would have never imagined!

  2. Hello from one hot mess to another. 😀

    Jeff Walling did a lesson at the Pepperdine Lectures a few years ago that has stuck with me for a while now. He said that we are all “messes in need of a Messiah.” Kinda apropos that one of the names for our Savior includes that word “mess,” huh?

    Have just begun listening to that U2 album. (Thank you, Apple, for sending it to me unbidden.) Will pay special attention to that song now. I often don’t understand the lyrics in songs, so am thankful when someone points out especially meaningful ones.

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