Years ago I was telling a friend that I would never be able to receive love because I was just too broken. That brokenness caused me to put up ginormous walls that I hid behind. Her words that day gave me a new perspective. “It should be a man’s privilege to take down your walls,” she said. Those words gave me hope. I no longer saw my brokenness has a barrier but as the way to my heart.
I’ve thought and prayed about this piece of advice for years and discovered something more. I realized if I expect a man to come into my mess and brave my walls I better be willing to paint his. Yup, that’s right, paint them.
I’m a woman. I don’t fear ugly walls! I’m just gonna hop on Pintrest and head to Hobby Lobby. Walls are my specialty. I marvel once more at the masculine and feminine dynamic here. In general, you need a man to move big walls and a woman to make them homes.
I look at it like this, once a man allows his walls to be painted, then Jesus comes in to break them down and rebuild with the rubble. He takes the newly colored shattered life and designs a mosaic. He works within relationships. We see this all over scripture starting with Adam: God creates everything but then tells Adam to take care of it, God makes a tribe out of Abrahams family, a nation with Moses, and a Kingdom with David. It’s always God and somebody with other people. God could have said poof Adam here’s your wife, but He didn’t. Poof Moses here’s the Promised Land, but he didn’t. Poof humanity there goes your sin, but he didn’t. For some mysterious reason God chooses to bring restoration and wholeness through the hands of other people, through the hands of the Church.
All to often we’re afraid to let others in our mess. The lie is in pretending we don’t have a mess or convincing ourselves we don’t need help from others. We tell ourselves once we’ve “got it under control” then we’ll let people in. We need to allow others to “color” our lives. I’m convinced that men and women have a way they can do this for one another uniquely.
But what does this look like?
Vulnerability! Let’s be clear, to be vulnerable does not mean just showing people your wounds. Oh, yeah I’ve got wounds and I’ll tell ya all about them, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna let you near them. Many people make this mistake. Letting people in takes discernment, time, and a willingness to be healed. It means allowing others to prick those parts of us that always hurt.
Essentially, we each have a choice to make, a risk to take. We can either allow someone to prick and possibly heal us or we run the risk of never being healed at all. Rest assured, if healing is going to take place, if mosaics are going to be built, it’s gonna sting a bit. Christ wants our walls to come down. He longs to make beautiful things out of our brokenness. If you get burned after being vulnerable, if someone adds a brick to the wall, perhaps we can adopt a new perspective. Maybe we can choose to believe that’s just another brick for someone to paint, another 1000 pieces for Christ to work with.
I know it’s hard. I know it’s humbling. But Christ wants to make you new.
Now hold still; I need to get my paintbrush!