Wednesday, October 17, 2012

American Idols

Last night I read an unexpected post from a blogger I follow announcing that her marriage had fallen apart. I exchanged texts and email with a handful of friends that have also been following her for a while. As we grieved for the pain in the lives of this family we have never met, one of my friends wrote the following: "I just wish things could be what you think they are. And what you need them to be."

Isn't that the truth?

I know this world is broken. I know that everyone has their stuff...that people let each other down...that the Enemy is on the prowl...that only God can be trusted to be unfailing. And yet, I want things to be different. I expect people to say what they mean and mean what they say. I long for authenticity. I want truthfulness and good intentions in myself and others. I suppose I am still looking for some real life fairy tales.

Tonight I was talking with teen girls in foster care about the hope and the trustworthiness of Jesus. As I looked into their faces I was struck by the stark realization that this must seem so hard for them to believe when it doesn't match the circumstances of their life. They have been neglected, abused, abandoned and let down at their young ages. How do they resist getting bitter?

When I got home, I read this article by Jim Galloway from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was one of the best insights into the Lance Armstrong doping scandal I have read--primarily because it dealt with the issues I have described above--what do we do with our disillusionment? Can good still come out of a life that was somewhat false?

Throughout history men and women have been elevated to high places only for many to come tumbling back down. We don't have to go much further than the Bible to find dozens of celebrated characters who had big secrets. I don't say that to glamorize or excuse their sin--it has its own consequences.

But I am reminded that sinning does not negate all the other good that can come from a life. In our disappointment, I hope we can remember that David, Paul, Abraham, Moses all had major missteps and yet God used them to bring hope to the world. Our God redeems, restores and uses some pretty messed up people to accomplish His will in this world.

It is a glaring reminder as we search for heroes in this life to inspire us, that we should reserve our worship and adoration for only God. It is especially alluring with public figures, writers, celebrities to think we have a whole enough picture of a person that we can fill in the gaps. But people are people and this world is rife with pitfalls and hurt. Try as we might, none of us are immune. This is not our home.

My intent is not to sound completely negative. There are beautiful, heroic, strong, faithful people in this world. They surround us everyday. Let's just remember to keep our perspective and to look for the places where it is the Lord in them that is so attractive to us. We can appreciate the parts of His character we see in men and women, but may we always be careful to remember it is merely a reflection of His glory. He is still the only one worthy of idolizing. 


The Niemeyer Nest said...

I read that post last night and it really impacted me. Crazy since I do not know G at all just what I read on her blog. Praying for her and holding space for everyone impacted. I can only imagine the girls in foster care - so much for them to learn about the One who protects us, loves us and never leaves our side!

Love Being A Nonny said...

I too read G's post and grieved for a woman I had never met. I was struck by all the posts she has written leading up to this...and how she must have written at least a few of them though she was hurting. We ALL need a SAVIOR. Praying for G.

Sara said...

I am going through a divorce right now that was not my choice, but I have asked God to use it in a way that glorifies Him - I want people to see how my faith has grown through my walking in the valley - and how Jesus is truly all we need. This post is a good reminder, J.