So I have been absent for awhile.
Not the kind of writing behavior that keeps a blog front and center in the minds of its readers.
And certainly not conducive to the stats need to get a publisher interested in my ongoing book experiment.
I don’t know what to do with this blog.
Originally it was written to chronicle and give voice to my anger, pain, hurt and distrust of God and people too.
It was about my journey through an emotional and spiritual minefield.
As long as I was writing from that perspective, it resonated with the pain and hurt others have felt or are feeling even now.
So I wrote.
And I wrote some more.
I fought to move forward in all aspects of my life.
Sometimes I took big steps forward.
Sometimes I took small steps forward.
Sometimes I took huge steps backward.
Sometimes it felt like I was sliding back down the hill.
Unabated and for good.
All the while, I spoke openly and freely about what I faced, what I endured.
You never know what life is going to send your way.
You never know what fundamental questions are going to find you with answers that are either not forthcoming or simply not up to the task at hand.
So what do you do if you lose you?
If you are me, you write.
You engage ideas and concepts.
You take long philosophical looks in the mirror.
And you when you don’t like what you see, you write some more.
You wrestle and stretch.
You grow even when you think no progress is made.
And over time and through the encouragement of others you realize you will never be you again. At least the you like you used to be.
My me is vastly different.
Sure, I still look like me.
And I am even back to full-time ministry (something I couldn’t ever imagine being my life again).
Certainly my ministry will be different because my relationship with God is different.
Less pretentious (Please Lord, let it be).
And focused quite differently.
Mercy, grace, redemption, and second chances… those are the things I want to emphasize. That’s the message of hope I want to bring.
The truth is, people are tired of being beat up.
They are beat up by the world, on the job, and often by our culture itself.
They are beat up by their own mistakes, by failures that destroy.
They are beat up by so-called family and friends.
And far too often, they are judged, condemned, and thoroughly trashed by the spiritual arrogance and spiritual smugness of some in the church.
We have forgotten the old cliche about the church not being a hotel for the perfect; instead it is a hospital for sinners, for the broken, for those who have made a complete mess of their lives.
I want to be that one guy, that preacher, that fellow miscreant who offers a word of hope, who gives a hand in peace, who understands what it means, what it feels like to be thoroughly broken…
This next bit is going to sound strange. I get that. I really do.
I still grieve.
I am in such a good place right now with my family and new ministry, but I still grieve.
I always will until the day God calls me home.
I still grieve.
And I am glad.
I am glad that my brokenness will never be completely healed on this side of the great divide.
It’s not that I enjoy pain.
Not at all.
I am glad because the world is full of broken people—and only the truly self-aware broken can stand with them.
When we come alongside those who are hurting for whatever reason and stand with them as anything other than another broken person too… instead of offering them mercy, grace, redemption, and second chances, most likely what they will get isn’t real hope, but the condescension of one who thinks they have it all together and know all the answers.
Nothing makes the broken more broken than condescension, condemnation, and judgement.
All of that and we still haven’t answered the question of what to do with this blog… except, maybe we have.
If you are broken and know it, this place is for you—I’ll try to write the encouragement we both need to make it through.
If you are grieving, this place is for you. I’ll share my grief from time to time and you’ll know you are not alone.
Desperately Wanting To Believe Again?
You betcha! I long for that day when all wrongs will be made right.
But until then, I will strive to remember the words of a desperate father when he once met Jesus… “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Les Ferguson, Jr.