So, I am at the Orange Conference. I have never been before, and I wasn’t really sure what it was all about, except for that it was mainly for children and youth ministers.  At the opening session, Reggie Joiner spoke about the concept behind Orange, and the importance of enabling and partnering with parents to teach children about God and pass on the faith.

This is not a new concept for me.  This was a main theme woven throughout all of my youth ministry classes in seminary, but Reggie said something that hit me tonight which I have never thought of before:

“God is not interested in the perfect picture.  He is interested in writing the story.”

Now, that’s good.

So many times as the church we try to make people fit into a certain mold that makes life easier for us, that makes us comfortable.  We want our churches to be made up of perfect families, with perfect parents, and perfect children.  This will never happen.   This is not real.  Reality isn’t comfortable.  It is hard.  It is painful.  It is messy.  It doesn’t make sense.  It can’t be contained.

It is broken.

Families are broken.

We are broken.

I am broken.

Tonight, for the first time I really realized that my family is broken.  If my family had to fit into the “perfect family” mold (aka: mom and dad who are still married and children–who don’t have problems, are rebellious, or talk back) I would be a horrible failure.  You see, my family is broken.  When I was 17 my father died.  This wasn’t a choice I made; it was something that happened to us, but it irrevocably severed my family.  My family doesn’t fit the mold anymore….actually it never did.

There are other reasons, which I will not go into because it is neither the time nor the place, why my family does not fit the mold.  And, you know what….I’m okay with it.  Because God is bigger than my brokenness.

God is in the business of restoring and redeeming our brokenness.

Our broken relationships.

Our broken families.

Our broken hearts.

God wants to use our brokenness to show the world that He is THE GOD who restores and redeems broken people.

This is just one of the many things I love about Cornerstone.  We are not just a church of broken people (every church is that) but we are a church that doesn’t hide that we are broken.   And, you don’t have to hang around Cornerstone very long to hear the stories of redemption and restoration that God is writing in the lives of these broken people.

And, I am one of them.