I was building mudroom cabinets.
I was praying and talking with God.
That's when this thought hit me.
I grabbed a scrap piece of plywood, about 6" x 6", and wrote this down.
When I was a teenager, my family took a fall trip to Paoli Indiana to get away and enjoy the turn of the leaves. We drove the few hours south from Indianapolis, and pulled into the motel where we would stay that night. My dad got out and went into the lobby to check us in. As I sat there, waiting in the car, I noticed a middle-aged lady going from door to door, cleaning the motel rooms. She was limping. Then I noticed her foot. One of her feet was turned inward. As far as I could surmise, she must have broken her leg at some point and hadn't had it reset by a doctor. Her leg had healed crooked and deformed. Watching that lady struggle to walk broke my heart.
Life can be like that for many of us, but the wounds we carry are often not on the outside.
We're all limping through life in one way or another. We've all learned to deal with life and the world through our brokenness. We can learn to integrate our wounds into the way we live and interact with others, and eventually, we don't even notice those wounds anymore. They just become, for us, the way we're used to being. But that doesn't mean they go way, or stop hurting. At different times those wounds get poked and triggered through our interactions with others, and can create relational problems.
In the dance of relationships, we can often attempt to train others to take care with our inner brokenness. That's not bad, but it's no good either. It's okay to expect others to be considerate of our inner-woundedness, but it's also an exhausting and daunting paradigm to navigate a world of people, all with their particular triggers. What if we didn't need to do that. What if we were all working out our inner dysfunction, and taking responsibility for our inner-woundedness so others wouldn't have to?
In this way, dealing with our own inner-darkness can improve the state of our external world. I believe that is the best way to improve the world.
Attempting to change everything and everyone around us in order to sooth our inner ache doesn't work that well. It is, in fact, demanding others take responsibility for the internal brokenness we won't. But what if we turned that around. What if we stopped trying to get the world to make space for our inner wounds, and just focused on healing those wounds? I believe that would be an immense and positive improvement in the world. If we all did that, what would the world be like?
Let's get busy dealing with our own inner-brokenness and find out.