I feel like there are certain times in one’s own life where everything around them is ready, is poised.
It’s like waking up early in the morning in Chicago.
There is a moment before everyone stirs, before the city wakes, before the busses are running and the mail gets distributed by men and women in all blue, before the line at Starbucks forms, and even before the suited business people hop in their shiny black expensive cars to beat the horrid traffic into the loop- before all the stretching and the communal rubbing of sleep from the city’s big, polluted eyes, every single thing is poised and waiting to begin again. To start the day.
Something speaks to me in those moments. Admittedly, I am rarely ever awake to see the poised-ness of this loud city, but, when I am, I soak it in. When I am up and observant (you can’t ask much more of me early in the morning than to simply register what’s going on, just ask my roommate. Or anyone who has ever, ever lived with me), I am so hopeful and excited and honestly, a little intimidated. You see, in those early moments, nothing has been done yet. Yes, things were done yesterday and the marks of them may still linger on the now, but they do not define what will yet come to be. There is intimidation because with the freedom of knowing anything can be created comes an almost obtuse form of paralyzation.
In my life, I feel as if everything is poised.
So much is left waiting, earning, crying out to be created.
And I, so often the coward, am paralyzed by the freedom and power that comes from newness.
Yes, in my entire life there are the marks from yesterday still lingering: mistakes I made in school, poor choices with money, personality traits used as defenses which now define me to some, lack of consideration when choosing how to spend my time. But none of those things stop the sun from rising and all my world to lean back on its haunches in preparation of springing forth once more. Nothing has stopped the things in my world to poise themselves all over again, nothing.
I have rediscovered my passion for honestly, vulnerability and transparency and I have simultaneously discovered that when I admit I am weak and confused and broken, no one is surprised. I am not above anything. Too bad I was the last one informed of this, but better late than never. I have also discovered, through peeling back layers of pride and fear, that it really is the cowardly thing not to be honest. You see, once I was honest and started getting really real with people, I realized that life was much easier. I move and fit alongside those closest to me in my life so much more naturally once I quit trying to be something I wasn’t. Whatever the hell that may have been. It is much easier to be happier, full and motivated when you know that one slip of one tiny little card on the bottom of the house will not cause the entire house to collapse in on itself.
There’s the freedom of knowing that I am just a little person. I am just one little girl whom God loves enough to cover. It gives all whole new meaning to the name I give Jesus: Savior. He saves me from myself. He saves me from perfection. He is my perfection.
I, Katie Jo Kuehn, am not perfect.
Shut up. It took like 23 years to figure that one out and I am willing to put money on the fact that in another 23, I will have to learn it all over again. There’s something like a cycle to my life and I don’t think this revelation, though strong and powerful it is, will out-due.
Why does any of this matter? Why? There are a six BILLION people in this world with probably just as many blogs out there talking about self-revelation and realization and getting better and being whole and having freedom and whatever else there may be.
This matters because I live with four other girls who are trying to get free too. It matters because, in community, what happens to one person happens to all. It matters because God spoke and God was clear when He said that “your freedom will set others free”. It matters because
I have found that Christ calls us into community with Himself and others not only for the redemption of the world and knowing Him better, but for own good. It’s almost selfish, really. As I said before, to me now, it is more cowardly to not choose to be honest. A good friend and soul sister, Lisa, shared this thought with me that I think captures it quite well: "Is living in community—whether within a single dwelling or a neighborhood, in a house church or as part of a small group within a larger body—risky? Absolutely. Is it worth the risk? Utterly, because the alternative is living inside one's own dark and deceptive head. While living transparently—our weaknesses, temptations, and failures in full view of others—is undeniably scary, it is immeasurably more frightening (not to mention dangerous) not to be known. When I hide myself from others, it is just a short step from there to hiding myself from myself. Allowed to remain in the windowless room of my own mind, I will sweep the most unsightly things into the corners until I no longer even see them myself. Fear, pain, sin—when kept from the healing light of day—quickly fester and corrupt and put us in mortal danger (Kristyn Komarnicki).”
There is no greater skill than to love well. And I have found, in wanting to take seriously the call of Christ in life by loving Him and my neighbors more than I love myself, that in order to love well, one must know the Way to being well. I’m NOT saying that one needs to be perfect and whole and right to be well. One needs to know the Way to become well. The Way is Jesus. He is all we are not. There is no way, with our small, black, decrepit and damaged hearts, that we can love well without Him.
We are to give away all we receive. To give away insane, freeing love, we must first receive it. We must put ourselves in the Way (in Jesus) and allow Him to wash us, slowly making us well with fresh air, light and space to roam about while we know that we are never too much or too messy for Him. Then, from that space, we love well.
The paradox is that the sickest love the best. Ironic. The Kingdom of Heaven is not one made up of templates, grids and standards of this world.
I am sick, but the Healer works in me. And, eventually, will work through me.
He has poised everything for this day, this season, this moment. All so that we may come to Him and go then to others. All to be well in an unwell world. All to love well in a void place.
And all of it happens simply by being in the Way.