Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Messy Spirituality

"The mess of our lives and our crippledness is what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus." -- Mike Yaconelli

I have seen the hand of God through the acts of friends and family several times over the past few weeks. Michael Perkins is a great man I met through the world of Twitter. A few days ago Michael sent me a direct message. It said, "Mike, I'm sending you a book." The book arrived in the mail and the title got my attention immediately: "Messy Spirituality". It was written by Michael Yaconelli. After the book was originally published Yaconelli died in in a car accident. After his death the book was published as a paperback. His wife Karla wrote the forward. At the end of the foreword she knocks it out of the park by setting the stage for the pages and chapters that follow:

"God actually had a fondness - a downright preference, if you will - for misfits and screwups.

I know if my beloved husband could say anything to those of you who are reading these words and who are about to embark on the adventure of reading this book, it would be this:

Take heart, my friends. You are in good company. You, with all of your faults and imperfections; you, with your defects and failures; you, with your hang-ups and emotional scars; you, with your weaknesses and your defeats; you, with all of your blunders, brokenness, and floundering: you are God's beloved, God's favored, the disciple whose name God calls, the one Jesus prefers to hang with, eat with, play with, talk with, cry with, and laugh with. You are the one whom the holy God of heaven and earth longs to spend time with. You are all of this and more. You always have been. Any you always will be."

-- Karla Yaconelli

The words in this book gave great comfort to me. No matter how much I've screwed up and made a mess of my life Jesus is attracted to me. Guess what? Jesus likes your mess too. As a matter of fact, He prefers you to be messy.

"According to the Bible, Jesus is attracted to the unattractive. He prefers the lost ones over the found ones, the losers over the winners, the broken instead of the whole, the messy instead of the unmessy, the crippled instead of the noncrippled."

-- Mike Yaconelli