Part Two: Welcoming Others Into Your Brokenness
The weight of the staff was too much to bear. He needed rest, relief, reprieve. Sweat flooded his brow and his arms shook with fatigue.
The weight he bore was not just the staff, it was the nation of Israel on his shoulders that day. But he couldn’t. He was exhausted and the day was long- longer than he was strong.
He had three choices:
He could push through, try to muster the strength to hold the staff on his own. He could have been successful. Extremely prideful. Entirely emptied.
He could try to do it on his own and failed. The gravity of such a failure leaving him crushed by the weight of the staff and his own shame. A loss separating him from the community of people he was trying to protect and rendering him utterly alone.
OR he could set his pride aside, enter into community, and allow his friends to be a part of the struggle- allowing them to be a part of the work God was doing. Instead of waiting until he had reached the other side triumphant, (or more realistically defeated) he could choose to lean into the people God had placed on either side of him and open himself up to their help.
Moses chose the latter that day.
Success in the battle against the Amalekites rested on his ability to hold the staff of God in the air that day. When the staff was raised, the Israelites were winning the battle. But when the staff was lowered, they were losing. Staff in hand, Moses looked at his brother Aaron on his left side, friend Hur on his right, and invited them into God’s beautiful story on the pages of Exodus 17. Together, they were successful. Not only Moses, Aaron, and Hur, but all of Israel walked away conquerors that day because of one man’s willingness to lean on his people for help in the middle of the battle.
I don’t think this is always an easy choice. In my own life, it comes with a lot of questions. How much do I share? With who? When? What does it look like? I want to set healthy boundaries with what I’m processing and who with, but a lot of times I end up swinging to the opposite side of the spectrum and going it alone. Most often, fear is the culprit holding me back in solitude.
But I don’t want to live in fear.
Let’s choose to follow Moses’ example. Let’s choose to invite our people, our “tribe” if you will, to be a part of our struggles. Let’s not deprive them the opportunity to be involved in what God is doing, but instead allow them to play an active role in His story and ours.
Maybe you have allowed people to enter into your brokenness before and it was not the “Moses” experience you were expecting. They were less than tender with your pain or didn’t respond the way you had hoped and it left you feeling as though you should have stuck it out alone.
I’ve been there. It’s not easy when people you respect and trust respond in a reckless way. And it makes sense for you to counter by pulling back and no longer sharing the pieces of your heart with people as a means of protection.
But I have to wonder if these wounds may have been a result of misplaced expectations. I know it’s commonplace for me to come to community with an ache or need and expect them to say the right things to make me feel better. I want them to understand the hurts of my heart and even more than that, fix them.
I wonder what would happen if we chose to have faith. If we chose to move forward towards our people, letting go of past hurts and present expectations.
What if, instead of looking to our community for healing, we turned to them for help.
Would community look different if we we came with our trust in God as the true healer and redeemer of our pain. Would we feel more open to sharing from our vulnerabilities, if we knew our hearts were ultimately in the loving hands of our God and not the sinful people surrounding us? Maybe we could move towards these people without overwhelming expectations, but instead open hands knowing God put them in our lives for a reason.
Let’s not wait until we’ve conquered our past hurts and insecurities. Let’s not wait until fear of getting hurt again subsides.
Let’s go forward, boldly, together.