In Which I Preach Just for a Moment or Two

I am broken. So are you.

Many of you I haven’t ever met. Some of my readers are people I have known and shared with online for years, yet if I passed you on the street I might not recognize you. This is the nature of the online community. I don’t know what your voice sounds like, or how big your feet are, or whether you like funky colors of nail polish, or if you’re a hugger or a handshaker.

But I know that you’re broken.

We all are. So desperately broken.

But even though I write those words, and even though I know you know this fact about me just as strongly as I know it about you, still I am afraid. So afraid to share with you the most broken parts of me, lest their foul sinful brokenness drive you away, or cause you to judge me harshly.

I expect we all live like this most of the time. Hiding behind these carefully constructed masks, showing only those weaknesses that make us more human but never the ones that really matter. You know my house is never clean. That is a weakness I am willing to share, although even then– if you came over I would have a cleaning frenzy before you got here. It’s one thing for me to talk about the mess; quite another for you to see the pile of crumbs under Squeezy’s chair or the blue toothpaste painted on the walls in the downstairs bathroom.

I have to talk about this today, even though the words are sticking and don’t want to come. It is important. I’m not saying we should all go around showing off the innermost workings of our deceitful hearts to everyone we meet. But we all need someone who knows those things. Who knows our deepest struggles and is willing to ask the hard questions and keep us accountable. Whether a spouse, sibling, parent, friend, mentor– whatever– we all need this.

Sin is a serious matter. And it grows like a weed sprouting in our hearts, twisting its roots around everything until each action and thought is controlled by it. We must be pulling up those weeds, rooting them out, and replacing them with righteousness. We must. Because even the most private of sins will eventually grow so strong that it will come out. It will.

I recently saw this in action– sin that had been allowed to go unconfessed for years destroying a family, a marriage. Even when there is forgiveness, sin still has consequences– sometimes horrifying ones– reaching far beyond the person who did the actual sinning. And as I watched all this unfold, saw the hurt and the grief and the devastation, I kept thinking that if only one person had known about this individual’s struggle with sin, if only this person had been honest and up front about his struggles with one friend or mentor, all of this might have been avoided.

Because there is strength in accountability, strength in humbling ourselves before others who love us and who are willing to pray for us, strength in our weakness when we are willing to bring that weakness before others. Sin loves the dark places, and bringing it out into the light is one of the best ways to eradicate it.

I’m not saying this blog is going to become the Deep Dark Confessions of Erin J. Kilmer, so don’t panic. Just– remember this. I know you’re broken. So does everybody else, because we all are. Don’t be afraid to bring your weaknesses into the light. That’s where the Healer of broken things is.

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5 thoughts on “In Which I Preach Just for a Moment or Two

  1. i think i would recognize your heart if we passed each other on the street 🙂

    i don’t know what my voice sounds like, but i am a hugger and my feet are a 9 1/2, and i don’t mind a little funky nail polish on my toes once in a while, but i gave up on polished fingernails. and yes, i am broken.

    but i love the song lyrics (10th ave n) that say its not about what you’ve done, but where your brokeness brings you…

  2. i’m a hugger. i hug people when i meet them instead of shake their hands. i’m a hugger.

    my shoe size is 8.5

    my nails look hideous. i chew them. it’s a bad habit from childhood. hard to break.
    i only wear funky toe-nail polish if i am feeling brave. i don’t wear it much. bet that surprises you. i only pretend to be brave. if i didn’t i would miss life.

    i am so broken.
    i have learned to expose dark things in me to the light quickly. i have learned the hard way. i am grateful for the hard way, it was God being merciful. when i let the dark out i feel Breath pour into my lungs, and Life fill up my soul again and i see Truth…
    and this broken person feels whole.

    i’m not afraid of darkness or weakness in others… i’m afraid of others never living in the Light.

  3. Me . . I’m fat and out of shape, gave up wearing nail polish years ago, my house is a mess and I’m a lousy cook.

    As much as the truth sometimes hurts it also has the power to heal.

    And please if someone comes to share that brokenness show them the truth, show them the truth in love, help them to find the truth, rather than coddling their brokenness. You wouldn’t tell an alcoholic “there, there it’s okay, have another drink, you’ll feel better.” so don’t hand a broken person a cudgel.

    • Oh, yes. Yes. The purpose of sharing our struggles isn’t so I can say “oh, it’s no big deal; you’re still a good person.” It’s so I can say, “I know you’re fighting this. Let me pray with you. Let me keep you accountable. Resist.”

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