October 3, 2016
Jen Hatmaker's Face book Post - Must Read
This is Jen Hatmaker's post for Sunday 2, 2016. This is not my writing. Repeat this is not my writing but it is my heart!
"....In the spirit of transparency, I'll tell you that I've had a pressure on my chest for a bit - pushing, pushing, pushing. This pressure is familiar, like a terrible old frenemy, but it just hasn't been around in awhile. The pressure says the same old thing: "You're not enough, not right, not good, not meeting expectations, not falling in line, not giving everyone what they want." It's such a boring, tired message, but it somehow works every.single.time.
I got to spend a bit of time with friend and mentor Marilyn Meberg this weekend in Dallas at Belong, and she got on the bus, sat right next to me, brushed aside any scrap of chit chat and said: "God has something for me to tell you and I didn't know when I could do it this weekend, but here we are and here it is..."
She reminded me that liberation is God's whole plan for all of us: to set us free. To set us free from sin and shame and loss and isolation and harm. It is for freedom that Christ set us free - not to be used, not to be a pawn for God's fame, not to follow better rules, not to become self-righteous...He set us free so we would be free. Full stop. He set us free so we could live a free life. What a good God! A free life is a full life, a purposeful life, a rich life, a healthy life, a loving life, a connected life, a powerful life. Of course Jesus wants freedom for us.
Anyhow, Marilyn reminded me that anytime we crave the freedom of others, when we work toward THEIR liberty, equality, justice, seat at the table - we should absolutely expect a full-court press of opposition. FULL COURT PRESS. The work is too important. It delivers too much freedom to a world that has always operated on hierarchy, power, and position. Anytime captives are set free, the fragile ecosystem of power is in jeopardy. What better way to keep God's people hamstrung, in-fighting, destabilized, and neutralized than to keep them in bondage, especially by each other? She told me the main message:
She touched on something I hadn't even been able to identify exactly. This pressure to muzzle, to deliver content that only makes people happy, amused, entertained, or comfortable - but to shut down the conversations that push, expose, call out, and disrupt. This pressure to package the Good News in only the preferred template to the preferred crowd in the preferred manner with the preferred language.
Someone called me "small" online yesterday. But I think the actual implication is that a big gospel is scary and unfamiliar and uncomfortable and intimidating. We prefer it contained, to be quite honest. We prefer to see it operate in OUR channels, in OUR context, in OUR language, for OUR benefit. Watching the gospel of freedom head outward toward others in ways outside our experience feels disorienting, and in an attempt to keep it tight, right, contained, and manageable, we criticize and poke holes and grasp. I've done this exact thing.
Good friends, let's keep craving the freedom of others, no matter how much criticism it draws. Because if we love mercy for ourselves, we better love it for everyone else, or there is no truth in us. And I guess we better expect a fight, because liberation is powerful. I give you the same permission and assignment Marilyn gave me:
It is for freedom that Jesus set us free. All of us...."
Take time to find out about one of our family members, Jen Hatmaker.