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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Buckle

God loves sad people. A lot!

Recently Michael Frost shared an interview on facebook that he had done with the gals at Fixing Her Eyes.

I’ve been following Frost since his book with Alan Hirsch, The Shaping Of Things To Come (which I tell people is the book that has most shaped my own thoughts on the church as a participant in Christ’s incarnation in local communities).

These guys have stretched me and inspired me to think about things from different perspectives and I’m grateful for how they’ve shaped the theological part of my headspace.

In 5 minutes with Michael Frost, I was surprised when Frost shared something far more personal but no less theological – what he described as a “compounding sense of sadness” due to a number of personal experiences of loss that he’s gone through in the last number of years.

I wish I had had some of Frost’s language to help me in September when I tried to share with my board some of what was going on in my own world.  Despite countless experiences of grace and reasons for thankfulness, despite blessings and health – lots of good and great things, I have also experienced, over a period of years, a number of losses that I’m often surprised still weigh on me some days.

I think i’m learning that sadnesses when you pile them up can compound.

It’s a vulnerable thing to share that publicly.

I love what he said next.

What have I learned about God? He loves sad people. A lot! In fact, while he might not love sad people more than anyone else, sad people are more desperate to sense his grace and mercy. I’m old enough to know that God’s presence isn’t dictated by my feelings, only my appreciation of God’s presence. But in my grief I’ve been aware of God’s faithfulness – the steadfast, unflinching, serene beauty of the mothering love of God. I can say, along with Lisa Beamer, “Somewhere, I stopped demanding God fix the problems in my life and started to be thankful for his presence as I endured them.” But I’d still like the sad things to stop, please!

I think powerful things can happen when leaders open up about their weaknesses or vulnerabilities.  It gives others with weaknesses and vulnerabilities of their own permission to be truth tellers.  The risk is that some people only want to hear from the champion of the poor, defender of justice, catalyst of mission and innovation Michael Frost.  But God loves the other Michael Frost too.  A lot!

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