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“The more transparent a Christian is, the more clearly others can see Christ through them.”

These words jumped out at me from a text my pastor-brother sent me a few weeks ago. I had written the poem, Alone Tonight to post for Valentine’s week, but I was struggling.

It was a message God gave me to help hurting hearts, but an internal battle raged as I tried to hit the “publish” button on my blog.

The words were true.

The message of hope was clear.

But the thought of others reading the words of my heart left me feeling weak, vulnerable, and exposed.

And I hate feeling weak.

I’d rather be known as the woman who single-handedly runs a daycare with ten children each weekday. The single mom who parents her three teen boys with ease. The lady who runs Tough Mudder races for fun. The woman who always has a smile on her face at church, no matter how her week has been.

But the truth?

The truth is I’m not always strong. Sometimes I’m very, very weak.

I’ve cried a few tears of frustration over the kitchen sink in my daycare after it’s taken over an hour to get the last child down for a nap, and then the first child wakes up. And the dishes still aren’t done.

There have been nights I’ve laid awake wondering if my boys will be OK, and am I REALLY teaching them all they need to know to be strong men of God?

There are Sundays when I’m smiling on the outside, but I’m hiding a bit of a shattered heart.

Last Sunday I spoke with a friend about this very subject. We agreed that it’s a hard thing to show our weaknesses to the watching world.

We come to church every Sunday, wanting to look strong, wanting to help the hurting people around us.

Wanting to spread God’s message of healing and love to those who so desperately need to hear it.

But also wanting to shield our own brokenness from the rest of the world. Because–let’s be honest–letting others see our broken places might bring us even more pain. The more we let others see into our hearts, the more vulnerable we become.

The Bible doesn’t cover up the brokenness of its saints.

We see Elijah broken under a juniper tree.

We see Hannah broken by a barren womb.

We see Peter broken by his own betrayal.

We see Paul broken by the thorn in his flesh.

On and on the list of broken saints continues. All through the pages of Scripture, we clearly see the weakness of the saints of God.

But we also see the power of God. His healing hand. His love and forgiveness.

Perhaps we can best share the message of God’s strength, love and healing not by being strong.

But by letting His strength shine through our weakness.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Corinthians 12:9-10

“The more transparent a Christian is, the more clearly others can see Christ through them.” (Pastor Jim Brooks)