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A meaningful mess!

March 5, 2007

In January 2005, the town of La Conchita, California experienced a mudslide the demolished 15 homes and killed 10 people. The following Sunday, Pastor Greg Russinger found a way to acknowledge and validate the grief of the community. We all can struggle with questions of doubt and times of grief. Thankfully there are people who allow us to not have it all together and who don’t ask us to pretend everything is okay.

“Abandoning his sermon, Greg drew attention to the black paper with which it covered the walls. Next, he invited a couple of men to go out into the street and gather some dust and mud. This was mixed with red paint, and members of the community were invited to use this blood-mud paste to express their emotions, questions and prayers all over the black paper in the site of God. Chaos ensued. ‘Pain is not ordered or aesthetically pleasing,’ reflected Greg wryly. Some people just wept. Others could barely paint. Children seized brushes. Adults used their hands. Some people didn’t participate. Some expressed images of hope. And all this time, the mud-blood paint just kept splattering off the paper and onto the floor, creating a mess.” (God on Mute by Pete Greig)

Thank you God for a meaningful mess! Will you please teach me to be someone who allows others the freedom to not have it all together, and teach me to be someone who lives with the courage to not pretend I have it all together.

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