|Photographer: YUKIMASA HIROTA|
I was talking to a friend on the telephone today, a friend who is closer to me than a brother and knows me better than most people and he always *goes there* -- the spot that I don't want to have anyone question me on, the place that I can keep hidden from all, if not most -- the place where my secret is mine.
I cannot escape his radar.
I quickly changed the subject to a project he had recently finished up. He is not a stupid man, so he swiftly replied with the same question, a second time. I hedged. I hesitated. I stuttered and stumbled....it was as though the gaze of Christ was bearing down into my soul from the other end of the receiver, complete with right eyebrow raised in a Holy Arc. I came clean.
I had to.
He knows about all of my addictions. There is one in particular that he is really concerned with because he knows it has, at times, destroyed the very person I had been trying to evolve into. How can he possibly know that I am still in that *thing*? How can he possibly know?
I have no idea how, but he does and he is piercing and pointed and I assure him I have everything under control, that this thing has been under control and I can deal with it. No problem, says I (bullshit, actually), I was wondering how you were doing with *your thing*? (another feeble attempt to change the subject...)
I repeated the question. He has often talked to me about his issue, it is as serious as mine, but I thought he was an overcomer, not a struggler. Just a short time ago, he admitted to me, he backslid. I was really shocked. Why is it that I can struggle with my junk but it doesn't cross my mind that he still has issues with his?
Because I see Christ in him. I see Jesus in him more than any other human being I can name, he is that amazing. But he is just like me in sin. He is no different, no better, has never elevated himself to that pedestal I put him on, but he was still up there.
The point of all of this is regardless of how great or wonderful someone in your life might be, they are still struggling in their own junk, they are still trying to overcome, they are still belly-crawling their way through the narrow gate, the same as you, the same as me.
And that is where grace comes into play. God put this truly godly man into my life, not only to show me what it is like to attempt to live in Christ on a daily basis, but to be honest enough to admit that he is fractured, like me, and that through his brokenness, he can minister to me in mine. What an incredible gift his friendship is to me. Remarkable.