I am meeting someone for coffee. I have never met her or perhaps I don’t know her well. At some point earlier, however, she asked, “Can we go for coffee?” Every week (several times a week) I have the privilege of sitting at this table. Each person comes with her own story of brokenness. Brokenness looks a thousand different ways.
I never, however, consider it my job is to solve or fix their lives. (That’s way to much pressure! Besides, I am not that smart and most often they aren’t there to be fixed. They simply want to be heard.)
(One misconception they sometimes come with is that God only comes to us when we get “our stuff together.” Sometimes they want me to help them “get it together” so God will…(blank). Instead, I help them to see how God is most actively at work right now in the middle of their “untogetherness.”)
So I offer them a safe place for them to share their stories. I simply listen. Mostly I listen and begin to see, in usually small ways, how God is present and moving in their lives. I am there to help them see that for themselves and discover God’s grace embedded in their brokenness.
God’s grace always comes to us by way of invitation. For nestled in every circumstance is an invitation to wholeness. Yet too often in the rush and weight of our days we can miss the all the ways God makes himself and his ways known. That’s where I come in. Pay attention, I whisper, this leads to someplace good.
We usually don’t know where God is leading us or how we will get there. (Or what would faith be for?) Our ability, however, to recognize what God is doing right now in the present moment and just say yes to that is the essence of our journey of faith. This usually doesn’t come through grandiose events in or in heroic fashion. Grace (God’s activity) is most often hidden in everyday moments where we least expect it. It can be recognized in moments when we crash through fear to ask, “Can we have coffee?”
The key is not in getting life fixed, or “getting it all together,” but the ability to see the invitations of God in the midst of our imperfections.
For in our imperfections lie our stories of grace.