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Mosaic 2.0: “Embracing messy”

Mosaic is messy (as I mentioned in my first post). What do I mean by “messy?” When I say this, I mean that there are not always clear answers, sometimes I don’t know which way is up or what our community needs, it’s never clear who to blame when things go wrong, and things are never, never perfect—that’s messy.

Messy is challenging to me. Just as the chaos that comes with parenting, the messy of church community draws (sometimes drags) me to places where I am challenged to find whole new ways of being and operating.

When I’m tired or stressed, I tidy my house. I put things in their places. If I’m overextended and emotional, my laundry is most likely to be folded. Weird I know—but if I can’t handle the messiness of life or my emotions, I can tidy my stuff!

A few weeks ago I yelled at Justin to put away his lunch items as he was still making his lunch. Because I didn’t want to look at another mess. This is 1 of the reactions we can have to messy. We want control, and we become a task master.

This week I’m so tired that one moment I’m furious, the next sad, and finally I become hopeless that I’ll never figure out this parenting job. Now I’m experiencing the second way we respond to messy—chaos, confusion, and helplessness.

But there is a third response to messy—and for me it means turning to God. I can try my best, but I know that I can’t do community or parenting or marriage without messy—it’s simply not possible or healthy. But I can learn a way of embracing messy—it’s called the way of grace.

This is why messy is good for us.

Messy is good for community because it calls us to the way of God—the way of grace.

Messy is good because it leaves room for each of us to learn new ways of being, which means failing a lot.

Messy is good because it means we’re real enough with each other to let our cracks show.

It is good because it reminds us that we can’t do this on our own.

Messy is good because it reminds us of our human fragility and brokenness.

Messy reminds us of God’s power and beauty.

If we want rigid systems of control and perfection, with no room to negotiate, change or adapt—then we can try to have a clean church. Usually these systems aim to cover up life’s messiness.

I don’t believe in clean church.

I believe a life of faith will always be messy.

How do you respond to messy situations- do you lean to control or chaos or both? Do you feel the pull to find a clean church? If so, what do you think you’re longing for, or why is the pull so strong for clean church?

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