As I reflect on the journey we have walked surrounding community, I am reminded of how pervasive our brokenness is and what it does in preventing us from community. When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were “naked.” Although this was a physical posture it was also emotional, spiritual, relational, and recreational. Before sin, they were naked and felt no shame. When they chose to walk opposite of their design and not trust what the Father said about himself and what he said about them to be true, a shift took place in their hearts. The first thing sin did was create distance. It created distance between Adam and Eve and it created distance between creator and created. Adam and Eve sowed fig leaves to cover up. It was the first time in human history that distance was created between Adam and Eve and the truth is, it has not stopped.
Our design is not to cover up, we have become sophisticated in the extravagant fig leaves we sow together. We tell ourselves we do not have enough time, or I am not sure I can trust that person, or if I could trust anyone but myself. In the back of our minds we hide wondering if we are enough, do we have what it takes, will it be worth it? We live surface, we create calculated touch points that give us a vaneer of community, all the while keeping people at a distance and never truly living life with them. Whatever the material we use to cover up, it is not our design!! The beckoning heart of the Father is to return to the garden. To stand transparent before one another once again.
To do this we have to create the time and space for it. We have to trust that it is the Father’s design and go for broke. Remember that love gives people the right to hurt us. Jesus had every excuse to keep things from Judas Iscariot. Jesus knew his heart, knew the struggles that wove their way through his inner man. Yet, there is no Biblical record that Jesus removed himself, that Jesus created distance, or played it “safe”. This is not in the Bible, but sometimes I wonder if Judas represents us all. Ya see, both Judas and Peter betrayed Christ, both carried the potential to let Jesus down. The only difference is Peter trusted the heart of Christ to be restored, while Judas trusted himself leaving him in want. Every one of us carries the potential for betrayal, we WILL let one another down, love will always create the space for that. It's what we do when we betray, when we let one another down, that reveals who we really are.
I invite you in to the life of community, to ask the Holy Spirit how to take the fig leaves off, to live transparent, to give yourself and others permission to see deep in your heart, invite them in. Truth is, people will fail. They will let you down. Some of your fears might come true. Yet in it all, restoration is sweet. The Rock Christ built the church on was established in the context of betrayal but ultimately in restoration.