Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Face It: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

No, it's not the puffy, skid marks adorning Seth's cheek tonight (where the cheek met the road out in our driveway a few hours earlier). Although, it might feel similar: numb, stinging, and painful. Nor, is it the place where blouses meet britches revealing the awkward inner tube tummy that screams that we have given birth. Although it might look similiar: spilling over into everything we do, attempting to contain it even though it feels not of this world. Where the rubber meets the road -when the space between reality and relationships does nothing but produce friction. Invisible friction. Unseen, but realistically felt. When years of bitterness spew forth in accusatory statements, when bottled hurt courses through our blood mocking our flesh, provoking a reaction. Leaving us hot under the collar, uncomfortable, and exasperated. We spin our wheels trying to find a solution to a problem that is not in our control. We find ourselves wondering how we can be mistreated without cause, how we can resolve problems when truth is never spoken to our face? From friction to full blown fire. And then what? Where do we go from here? How do we show God's love when we are constantly being slapped in the face? With words, with glances, with passive-agressive attempts that tell us we're unworthy and unloved.

I know we go to the cross. We run if we are the wounded. We run if we have done the wounding. We run as fast as we can because our soul is breaking under the burden either way. We might have marched there in pride or indignation. We might have limped there licking our wounds all the way. No matter what, the important thing is that we are there. We, imperfections and all, are there. Waiting for a miracle of the heart. Waiting to move past the offenses of others, those received and those inflicted. And this struggle is nothing new to mankind. David knew it well. His song to those who made slander their bed:

"Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogrance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover. Rise up, O Lord, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life." Psalm 17:8-14

The road to life begins at the cross. At the feet of the only One who understands our deepest hurts. Where the Lamb meets the crouching lion head on and men are saved from their enemies and themselves.