Living in the Damage

by - 8:41 PM

for you are like, white washed sepulchers

My life goes through phases.
I think for most of us we realize we behave and act differently during different periods of our lives and a lot of that has to do with our outside circumstances. It might not be good, but it is something that is inherently human. We react more than we act. We argue more than we dialog. We try and protect ourselves.
As I reach each new phase of my relation to those around me I try and find a song to signify my emotional landscape. It helps to keep me centered. It reminds me that it’s just a phase. It makes me be honest about where I am.
Lately I have been listening to the song “Damaged People” by Depeche Mode.
I have been mulling over some thoughts that resonate with the lyrics.
Particularly these lines:

“We're damaged people
Drawn together
By subtleties that we are not aware of
Disturbed souls
Playing out forever
These games that we once thought we would be scared of

We're damaged people
Praying for something
That doesn't come from somewhere deep inside us
Depraved souls
Trusting in the one thing
The one thing that this life has not denied us”

As I listened to these lyrics over and over trying to understand just what was pulling at my spirit I was drawn to Matthew 23:27.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whitewashed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”

It was here I found myself wondering just what it must have been like for a man like Jesus to interact with the Pharisees. In Jesus we have a complete human being, someone whose humanity was an integral part of his divinity. We see in Jesus a man possessed of his own value, whose worth was not determined by anything or anyone outside of his relationship with God. 
What must he have thought walking through our towns and cities? 
What must it have been like to see so much brokenness and misery? 
What must it have been like to be the one complete human among a horde of shattered souls and broken vessels?

This brought me full circle back to meditating on the song.
A lot of people are startled by it when they first hear it, but what startles us about it isn’t the premise. Its the honesty.
We are damaged people.
Our relationships are placed on wounds like bandages.
We call to each other to bind our brokenness and then recoil at the sight of each other.
Like the old Universal Horror movie “The Mummy” we shamble about looking for something to complete us unaware that one more bandage will never provide us the healing we so desire.
And so I am back to the tomb.
And I remember that this is all a story built on tombs.
And so are we.
We are a religion that celebrates a Sepulcher.

But the tomb we celebrate is empty.
I think that is the turning point.
The pharisees hid their broken hearts. Bandaged and weeping they locked them away where they could not be seen or touched.
Jesus came to us in fullness of being, and when he was bruised and broken and bleeding he refused to stay hidden.

That is the same calling we all face.
Not the call to heal ourselves, or even to place bandages on the broken parts of others.
No, our call is to walk openly in our wounds.
To live in the damage.
To refuse to hide that which is most terrible about ourselves.
Maybe if we can do that, maybe if we can reveal even the holes in our hands, and have our doubting friends probe them with fearful fingers, we can begin to move through this world as our messiah did.
Maybe then we can stop reacting; no longer paralyzed by fear the bandages will come loose.
Maybe then we can stop recoiling; as our own wounds lie open before the faces of those who share our pains.
Maybe then we will stop washing our tombs.
Not because they don’t exist, but because we don’t live in them anymore.
Maybe we need to accept that healing doesn’t look like smooth skin and polished stone.
It looks like scars.
In the end the beauty of the tomb isn’t that it hid the brokenness of our God, it is that it could not contain his healing.

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