Boundaries will always be hard because the very act of setting them is also a confession that we are out of whack. It’s saying to the over-busy schedule and the distracted nature of the self, to the part of us that keeps going even though we are tired and exhausted, and to the feeling again and again that we are not actually seeing the people that we live with: “Hey, you are human. Live like it.” I’m convinced that our human egos are too high; that we forget we can’t do it all, and so we try and we drop things and then we feel like a failure. We don’t understand our own mortality enough; it’s the very reason that articles and photos are passed around with an inspirational quote about paying attention to your kids, shutting your phones off, and slowing the heck down. We all crave it, we all know something is out of whack, and I suspect it’s because we are behaving much more like robots and computers than we are like humans.
We’ve lost touch with what it means to be human.
Humanity is made up of a bunch of people, with flesh and skin and real feelings and thoughts and desires and dreams and suffering and pain. Humanity is the whole sum of a bunch of people walking around with beating hearts and bleeding wounds. To be human is to be distinctly aware and vulnerable from what sets us apart from animals, robots, machines, and more. It is to embrace the highs and lows of our emotions and to take ahold of the one, precious life. To be human is to be vulnerable, to suffer, to connect, to take risks and to treat others as they are human, too.
I believe the way we view God informs the way we view ourselves and others. Jesus was fully human and fully God, yet, we tend to focus only on His deity. And obviously this is core, but just as we only focus on what we can accomplish, if we look at God the same way, then we don’t really see Him, hear Him, or understand His presence. So then, we live accordingly: we work, we build, we make money, we are busy, we are stressed, and then we occasionally find refuge as we feel the need to get back in touch with what it means to be human.
Have you noticed that when you stop the machine, you begin to breathe?
When we take a look at the human qualities of Jesus, I believe that we can get in touch with our own. Jesus walked this earth feeling pain, loss, joy, excitement, grief, sorrow and everything in between. The whole reason why the cross is so gut wrenching is because He was a living and breathing person with flesh that bleed when it was cut, and a heart that broke when it was poked. On a certain level, we can connect here. We can connect with a God that was also fully human because He gets it. He gets that pull you have to get back to sorts, that desire you have to turn it all off and re-set. He gets those emotions you have that are bubbling but you haven’t had time for.
He gets you. And then some. So what if we read the Gospels like that? Instead of a God that is waving a wand or playing out a script to get things done as our days go, what if we read it like it is: a real, breathing and thinking person who had His own ideas, thoughts, pains, hopes and sorrows. That these stories are interactions between two members of humanity, and we read them because in them we find His humanity and ours.