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  • The Rev. Charles Smith

Messy Life-Holy Life

I don't know about you but when I share things online, or with friends and family, I try to create a carefully curated image. I want people to think that I have my life basically figured out and there are no rough ragged edges. I want it to look like my life is all put together and that my desk does not secretly look like a terror and the dishwasher does not need unloading (why does the dishwasher ALWAYS need to be unloaded). But if I am really honest that life does not exist--at least not for me and I doubt it does for anyone.


My actual desk looking decidedly messy

Life is a decidedly messy affair. Not only does the dishwasher need unloading but there is stuff to be picked up and a list of projects started and unfinished. There are things we do each and every day that we are, shall we say, less than proud of. Sometimes when praying, or reading the bible, or reading about the lives of the saints, or thinking about really holy, happy people I know I start to feel like I must have gone wrong somewhere because my life is not even close to being as good as their lives look to be.


Lifestyle envy is a real thing. Why don't I have an perfectly Instagrammable memories? Why is it I can be grumpy, or short, or impatient, or impulsive, or, or, or any number of things? How is it that everyone else seems to have it more figured out than I do? And how am I ever going to be as good as everyone else.


My favorite image of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she is to become Jesus' mom, is "Overshadowed" by Patty Wickman. I love it because it shows Mary like a regular person.

"Overshadowed" by Patty Wickman

A young woman kneels in the middle of a messy room in desperate need of picking up. There is a lamp, shade discarded to the side, and her hands form the shadow of a dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. There she kneels in the midst of her imperfect messy life. She is talking to God and is unashamed about the reality of what her life is actually like.


Jesus, who is literally called Emmanuel "God with us" in the Bible, is there in the midst of all the messiness that is her life.


Life is messy and it is okay. The laundry needs doing, the dishwasher needs unloading, and you have probably messed something up today. It is okay. God is with you in the midst of the messiness. Jesus is with you in the midst of the messiness. We don't need to come to God with everything figured out and picked up. God is not looking to share your perfect put together life--God wants your friendship and to be a part of your real, messy life and not just the story you tell everyone else.


If you need help in starting that friendship with Jesus please contact us and we will help get you started. If you help figuring our who to fall to your knees and starting that conversation with God in the midst of the messiness that is your life reach out to us and we will help you. There are several video aides here on Sal et Lucem to get you started and we talk to God together every Monday and Tuesday on Facebook Live. We have a couple of prayer videos posted that can help you get started as well. Soon we will be launching Spiritual Coaching, one on one sessions, where we work together on becoming better friends with God and happier, holier people.


No matter how messy your life is Jesus is there ready for you to come and be his friend.





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