thoughts on Truth

Thanks, Christina for writing yesterday about business vs. personal. I think the blurred line only gets more blurry when you are working in a Christian context. Because your business is also mission, and also community, and also the Body of Christ, and also family. All those things together make for a pretty crazy mix of business/personal. I have to echo the thoughts of our mom on this one... personal goes with you wherever you are. You bring 'personal' to every meeting, every encounter with a student, every board decision, and every pink slip. You bring personal because that is how we are made: personal, relational, human. I think God intended it this way. But, it sure is difficult.

Entirely unrelated (and mostly because I already have it written and it's an easy copy/paste job), I wanted to share something from awhile back. I spoke to two different sets of high school students a couple weeks ago on Nehemiah 8 (per my mother's brilliant suggestion) in an attempt to discuss joy and suffering. I did some writing before/after and here some excerpts:

When I stand up against Truth ...

first all confident and dignified,
(sin secret and hidden) spouting
nonsense words and misplaced
pleasantries                                      ...
when I stand up, beside Truth

SHAME fills me and

my knees buckle,                                     ...
too weak to stand
EVERY thought of comfort is
destroyed and scattered like
chaff, swept up by the hungry wind

pride is a monster
and I fall faster

fear, though I know its true place
surrounds the pieces
of what was once complete

the feeling that i have failed
again
that the world has failed
again
...
is only overcome by the

Presence

it is overcome by the

Presence
---------------

So, you may be trying to connect the dots and having trouble. 
"Joy, suffering, Nehemiah 8, and now this strange writing about Truth and destruction? You totally confused those kids, Caroline!"
Is that what you are thinking?
Well, I didn't share my personal writing in my message, but what I DID share was the beautiful realization that God offers His very presence to the people of Israel who had listened to Truth for seven hours and felt the meaning and their sin rip open their souls. They were destroyed by the gap Truth exposed between them and a precious, perfect God. At that moment, God reached out to their broken, bruised, battered hearts and said, "Do not grieve." He saw that they realized the depth of their brokenness and at that moment He invited them into JOY. He invited them into His presence to sit beside redemption and drink in life. 
I love that.