Have you ever met someone who apologizes for everything? At first it is endearing and you think, Oh, look how thoughtful she is being of me! She is sorry she was late. But then you look at your phone and realize she is five minutes early. And she’s apologizing for it. And you realize that her definition of late is showing up two minutes past early. Before the night is over you have counted her apologies to the point where you can no longer focus on what she is saying because you’re waiting for her to apologize for it.
It’s exhausting to listen to her, until I realize I do it, too. I want to apologize for writing a non-fiction book because I know they aren’t as fun to read as fiction. I apologize for getting emotional when people pray for me. I’m not really sorry, but it’s what comes out of my mouth when it happens. I don’t know why I’m crying, I hear myself say, I’m so sorry. I’m being ridiculous.
When guests come over, have you ever heard yourself pointing out the mess to them and apologizing for all the imperfections even though you know that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful?
When the dinner dishes still sit in the sink from dinner two nights ago, do you hear yourself apologize to your husband for it, almost like you want to point out the flaws first before he gets a chance to do it?
The thing is, he never would. I completely accept your flaws but I am strictly opposed to my own. What I’m really saying is, Attention everyone! I have a very important announcement to make – I am a human being and I am ever so sorry about that.
We apologize for being emotional.
We apologize for being inarticulate.
We apologize for not having answers.
And in the doing, we sorry our way out of making art.
But these apologies aren’t really apologies, are they? A God-led sorry leads to healing, not hiding. Apologies said in true humility and repentance are intended to draw people closer to God and each other. A true sorry is said with an open hand, not a clenched fist. A true sorry is not about me. But sorry is a bad idea when it is used to cover up our beautiful, vulnerable, fragile humanity.
So what if we did the opposite? What if instead of brushing our emotions aside and apologizing for the brokenness, we invited a few people into it? What if instead of pointing out the mess on the floor, we welcomed them to sit with us among it? Perhaps we would finally see that we were made for greater things than this. We are living in the midst of provision, abundance, skill. Giftedness. We were made by design and on purpose by an unapologetic God. Dare to receive His making of you. And don’t forget to say thank you.
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