“Our son’s probation officer was over last week and we had a good meeting together.”
I shared this sentence when I met up with a graduated teen of mine. He asked what’s new in my life. I brought it up because it was a good thing that has happened lately. It was something encouraging to share.
This God-loving, someone-I’m-so-proud-of man in front of me asked questions about this visit with the probation officer. I saw the tears form in his eyes. I know I am one of those important adults in his life who has been intentional with him for over 30 years. It broke his heart that I was so accustomed to the prison cycle.
As for me, this is just something that is a part of my life. This is part of my brave faith. This was a good meeting. This meeting with the probation officer was an answer to prayer.
A brave faith sometimes brings people to tears.
A brave faith gives the person making the brave decisions and the person invited into those brave decisions moments of awe.
Unforgettable moments that bond you together.
That change you.
That makes the way of Jesus admirable.
This cannot be said about a safe faith.
A safe faith does not inspire. A safe faith does not lead to awe-inspiring moments. A safe faith does not remind you of Jesus.
A safe faith also doesn’t lead to meetings with probation officers. But remember that meeting was an answer to prayer.
A brave faith prays for the unthinkable. Because, perhaps God…
I define bravery as your decisions to actually trust God. That is full of vulnerability because with God there is not the guarantee of the controlled outcome you want.
Of course, a safe faith likes to minimize vulnerability. A safe faith serves as a numbing protector from the very real mean cruel world. A safe faith prays small.
I see this hashtag a lot, #lovewins. I hear messages preached on how to be a better Christian is to love more or love better. But to really live this you have to realize your heart is going to break. People are going to disappoint. God is going to disappoint. (Really it is your expectation of God that disappoints. Thank God I’ve learned about this Larger Story God.) You are going to have a smashed heart and want to quit. Instead you decide to hide in bed for a day…or three. You choose to love again.
Love has a 100 percent possibility of smashing your heart. Hashtags don’t tell you about that.
You choose to love again because you really believe in this Larger Story God. I believe in this Larger Story God. I believe in God who redeems every bit of pain. I have learned that this is who God is from my despair. From my screaming at God. From my wrestling with God. By that I mean that I didn’t accept the platitudes about God. I had to find out on my own who God was. I have a relationship with God who I love and who has broken my heart. I know that God is for me.
This is my brave faith filled with hope from bloody fists. I see it in the eyes of this beloved graduated teen of mine. We are both changed.
Do you want to join me in the front seat too?