Stuck in a room full of broken toys.

Stuck in a room full of broken toys. September 30, 2011
Last night I sat with a group of wonderful people who were basically, a collection of misfits, walking wounded and broken pieces of humanity.
And I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
Photo courtesy jennijumble

I’m at the Laity Lodge writer’s retreat and I with some amazing craftsman. On one hand, they are the titans of wordsmithing. On the other, they are one messed up bunch of people.
As we shared our stories, there was a common theme of shattered dreams, hurt and challenges. There was the one with cancer, who had beaten it once, only to be faced with its unmerciful return. And another who at midlife was looking for an entirely different career direction.  And another who’s nephew had been involved in a terrible car crash that forever changed the lives of five teenagers.  And another who lived through divorce and the resulting feeling of abandonment.
Others spoke of addictions, fears, misdirection, and frustration in life. There was loss of life, dignity and hope.
Basically, It was a room full of broken toys.
What a wonderful place to be.
In my life I’ve sat in rooms with important people. I’ve been with politicians, bankers and world changers. I’ve exchanged ideas with leaders who command thousands of employees with billions of dollars in their responsibility. I’ve dined with writers and artists and philosophers. 
I’ve been with righteous people, living under the same roof of those that did no wrong. Every jot and tittle they followed and oh, how I wanted to belong.
I wanted to be like them, and so I faked my way. I was the do-gooder.  I was the important person. I was the man.
Never would I have imagined joining the ranks of the outsiders. I used look down at those who didn’t have their acts together. They were the disobedient, the misguided, the willfully ignorant. They simply needed to follow the Book, or the Law, or just good common sense.

Then my wife left me. My father died. My friends abandoned me.

Little did I know that we never can choose the tornado that will sweep us off our feet.
I think of Jesus, who sat at the table with the malcontents, the despised and the abused. He laughed and dipped his bread in their cups. He smiled at their jokes and mopped their tears with his robe. They sat with eyes alive again. Not because they were suddenly healed, or perfect, or together.  But because of hope.
This is where I belong. With them. With Jesus. 
My people. 

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