There is a patch of concrete in our back yard that has cracks running through it. Since we’ve lived here, the cracks have deepened and from time to time, weeds will pop up through them.

We’ve sprayed chemicals to stop the growth through the crevasses. The weeds die and the space remains dormant but eventually, they grow back. I could pretend the cracks aren’t there and keep planting pretty things around them.

But even if you can’t see the cracks, I will always know they are there.

What we really need to do is demolish the damaged concrete and lay down something new.  We need to level the ground beneath the cracks and start all over.

Like broken concrete, it’s when we realize there are fractures in our lives that we come to a point of wanting to start over. When we realize we can no longer ignore the cracks and move forward in the condition we are in.  We can’t fill in the cracks. We can’t put something pretty around them so no one will notice. The fissures become unbearable. We no longer feel useful the way we are.

This is when we recognize our need for a Savior.

Then Jesus comes into our lives and we go to Church. We go to a place where people are supposed to love one another like He does so the new foundation we have just laid will grow stronger and more durable.

Eventually the land shifts and we begin to see cracks again.

Our cracks may be in different places, they may be in the same places. But this time we know where to go to have them repaired.

We know if we recognize we are broken, we can be restored.

The unfortunate thing is sometimes we church people are afraid of our cracks.  The ones in our marriages and families. The ones in our behavior towards our children. The ones in our conduct with people we work with. The ones in our attitudes towards and with the people we go to school with.  We think if they show, nothing will ever grow they way it was intended it to. So we hide. We pretend. We cover.

Enter religion.

I’m not sure who, at what point in history, decided we have to have all things in order to be in church. Surely it was before the pharisees time because they made a concerted effort to cover up their cracks. In the Old Testament,  Judah, son of Jacob conveniently forgot his own cracks as he stood accusing his daughter-in-law Tamar.  Throughout  the narrative, we witness the people of God getting lazy and forgetful and seeing their communities break down. The result was generations of people who reached for whatever was in front of them to fill in said cracks.

I love the Church. She is the very thing that Jesus has chosen to use to bring hope  and joy to a broken and lost world. She is meant to be preparing herself for His imminent return when she will no longer be chipped, broken and imperfect.  Upon His coming for her, she will become whole and complete, because of Him.

Until then, we will keep cracking but He will keep on restoring. Getting us ready.

Coming to Church shouldn’t make us more religious. Rather, it should help us discover the grace to restore the cracks in our lives. Let us be like those in the time of King Hezekiah, who showed up to worship and through their worship had their eyes opened to where the cracks were coming from.

Because in our worship, our cracks are revealed.

And once they are revealed, we can quickly run to the One who restores and tear down the things that break us.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17

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