Posted by: zephaniah317 | March 21, 2008


I’m a master (maybe not the master, maybe top 10%) of self-protection.  Yes.  I am.  Thank you, God, for pointing that out continually lately.  Actually, I do mean that, I’m not being sarcastic.

I know where I get this trait.  (oh, boy, here he goes again about his parents…well, hey, you can stop reading or skip over it then!  🙂  )  No, really, I think it started with my folks, was compounded by the church I grew up in, of all places, and then you lump on top all of the normal (and sometimes excessive – being 6’6″, 190 pounds, and all arms and legs doesn’t exactly scream out “incognito!”…more like “here I am, pick on me!”) abuse than one receives in the average American high school, and well, after a while, reality is just not worth it anymore.  Protect your heart.  People are no good.  Separate yourself.  Trust no one.  Not even God…how could He let this happen, anyway?  The heck with Him.

Which is my point.  Jesus experienced all I listed above and more.  How can I stay locked up in my prison, knowing that He bore it all and experienced everything that I protect myself from, to save me from that prison?

I was noting to a friend of mine the other day how emotionally disconnected I feel.  Thing is, you can’t hide from reality – all the hurt the world has to offer, to put it succinctly – and continue to feel.  And yet, some churches actually teach the whole “set apart, sanctified” thing way, way wrong.  It’s like they believe that churchgoers live above, or aside from, reality.  How can you love someone if you’re condemning their behavior?  How can you care for someone like Jesus did if you’re not willing to get down in the muck and mire with them, to live in reality with them for a time and help pull them out with God’s help?

I’m saddened by how many people I meet nowadays who believe that life is not meant to have any hurt in it, any pain, any conflict.  I’m saddened when I slip into that mentality, sometimes subconsciously.  I’m saddened that my parents lived – if you want to call it that – like that.

Ever seen “As Good As It Gets”?  In the movie, Diane Keaton’s character and Jack Nicholson’s character start a relationship, then he basically cheats on her with another woman – or simply breaks up with her,  I can’t remember for sure – and breaks her heart.  How does she respond?  She starts bawling…I mean, really crying, like someone should respond, right?  Then she does something that absolutely confounds me (partially because I’m disconnected, partially because I’m a guy):  she goes straight to her laptop and starts writing a play.  She fully accepts this as part of life, and does more than just “make the best of it” – like making lemonade when the world gives you lemons or something like that – she uses the heartache for good.  Pain, conflict, heartache, all of it…it’s not just a part of life, of reality – it’s integral to it.  You cannot live without it. 

Lord, break my heart.  Please.

Come on and change me
Cause you know what I need
Could you break away the ice frozen around my heart
Could you reach through
And help me to know you
Cause I’m stranded in this place
Falling on my face over and over again

-Building 429, Over and Over Again


  1. Hmmm … pain a part of life. Yes thats true. It takes too much energy trying to avoid or run from was meant to be embraced, and shared…Thanks for the post.

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