We live in the corridors. We’d like to inhabit the rooms off it, the places of pleasure and peace and harmony and happiness. The rooms of light and wholeness and satisfaction. But we find ourselves pacing the stretches that link these places. We do get to visit the rooms of our choice at times, for longer or shorter periods. We slip into the rooms of sport, creativity, music, dancing, learning, science, laughter, love, parties and friendship. We spend time in the places where things are working well and life begins to feel as it should. But then we find ourselves outside again. And more, we’re in those other rooms, the places of heartbreak and disease. The rooms of frustration and sadness, anger and suspicion. The rooms no one chooses to enter. And so we find our lives weaving between these places, our steps sometimes nicely ordered and our plans and purposes intact, at other times we lurch out of step, chaotic, bumbling, barely limping along.
Easy to imagine that, as Christians, our lives should be a little more ordered, and that we are somehow able to spend more time in the positive rooms, the places of light and love and laughter. Not for us the rooms of heartache and heartbreak, surely we are more victorious, more accomplished. Aren’t we? And yet we find ourselves drifting in those corridors as much as anyone else, sometimes in the rooms of hope and healing, but often in those dark and difficult rooms too, those places of pain and imperfection. And there, in the shadowy corners, we see someone else. A man with holes in his body, the marks of weakness and sacrifice, the one whose body bears the brunt of those sad places. A man who is ever ready to sit with us when it’s our time in the rooms of reluctance. A man well acquainted with laughter and life, but also grief and loss and pain. A man who like us, longs for the time when there will be no more corridors, and no more chaotic, difficult wandering. Only the rooms of warmth and welcome, only the places of light and hope, laughter and healing.
From an idea by Rob Bell, as described in chapter one of his book Drops Like Stars