Have you ever felt “different?” Have you ever felt “weird?” Was there ever a time when one of these things was seemingly not like the others and that thing was you? Chances are there have been those times and they aren’t pleasant memories.
One of the most powerful Truths I have seen play out among folks that are struggling is that there is healing in the realization that they aren’t more screwed up than anyone else. There is healing in the revelation that we are “normal” in our dysfunction. I’ve seen it distinctly in many different settings.
I’ve seen it in the eyes of a teenager locked up for their rebellion when told that the circumstances they were living in were a set up from the start. They were failed by their parents and their reaction, while wrong, was logical given the fact that their dad was in prison (or whatever), their mom was an addict (or whatever), etc. Hope comes in as they realize they aren’t losers, freaks or weird.
I’ve seen in the face of the accused. When facing charges for possession for the 3rd or 4th time but finally connecting that the reason they use marijuana is because of the stress and pain of their life. Then when realizing that the stress and the pain is legitimate and the desire to numb it is logical. Then to realize that the Comforter replaces the escape of the weed which was a counterfeit of the Truth.
I’ve seen it in the tears of the recovering addict, ex-con who feels like something is wrong with him because he’s done wrong things but then realizes that everybody else has, too. With the realization Salvation is just as available to them as the college educated businessman. The emotional release of a man-made right by revelation of Forgiveness is an incredible sight.
I’ve seen it in the broken cries and resulting Joy of church folks and pastors who get away and experience what they have been saying and trying to believe but never really knew. They finally connect the striving to follow the rules to the guilt and shame over the rules they seem to always break and realize the lie they were believing. They receive Grace and know Love intimately for the first time and know that they are accepted.
I’ve seen it in the mirror.