Yesterday, we looked at the hard truth that...this world doesn't need you. It's a truth that I am discovering after two weeks in isolation with Covid, as I have re-entered the world and discovered that not only did it move on without me, but it's closed up the holes that I used to fill. And if I want to have a place in this world again, it seems like I'm going to have to make it.
After I wallowed in my own self-pity for awhile (it's a tough pill to swallow when you discover that you're not as non-essential as you think), I discovered this is actually a beautiful opportunity. It's an amazing gift. This crushing weight of realizing how very little the world needs me is precisely the revelation that sets my love free.
You see, it's tempting, at the moment when you discover that the world doesn't need you, to just give up. It's tempting to give in. It's tempting to decide, then, that nothing you do matters and no one cares anyway and so you don't even have to try any more. Non-essential can quickly become non-existent if you're not careful. What's the point of being if no one seems to notice, if your being doesn't seem to change anything?
And yet, your being changes everything. At least, it does if you're doing it right.
When you're not holding the whole weight of the world on your shoulders, when you're not busy making yourself indispensable, when you're not working to make sure that you cannot be replaced, you can just worry about loving others. You can just concern yourself with doing all the little things that make you a blessing in a broken world. When you're not holding the world together, you're free to fill in the gaps. And that's beautiful.
It's the difference between being the fragile string that the whole world hangs on and being a vibrant thread in the tapestry of this life. It's the difference between being the one thing holding on between life and death and being just something beautiful. Take the world's most intricate design and pull just one thread out of it, just one, and you can see what I mean.
You pull out one thread, and one whole strip of color disappears. One whole nuance of shading is gone. One whole shade of being just...vanishes. And that place, though it may not unravel right away, becomes weaker. You are the thread that makes God's story stronger in the place in which He's woven you in.
That's not non-essential. That's not nothing. That is something. It's something beautiful.
I said yesterday that the balance to all of the despair is knowing that the God who created the entire universe looked at His creation and decided that it needed one of you. He made you on purpose, just the way you are, at just the time and place that you inhabit. You're here for a reason, and that doesn't change even if the world doesn't need you. That doesn't change even if the world moves on without you. That doesn't change if you have to keep finding your place over and over and over again.
In fact, I think it's better this way. I think it's better to be reminded that this whole world doesn't live and die by you. That the world doesn't spin on your axis. It puts you back in your place and frees you from the burden of trying to keep this whole thing in motion by yourself. Instead of being the thing by which all things move, you get to just move with them. And truth be told, you've got a lot more to offer in this capacity than in any other. I don't want you holding up my world.
But I do want you to make it more beautiful.
I want you to be the thread that complements my colors. I want you to be the string that weaves through my story again and again. I want you to be that little strand of glitter that makes things sparkle when the light catches it just right. I want to be those things for you.
The truth is that we spend so much of our time - I spend so much of my time - trying to convince ourselves how necessary we are, trying to convince ourselves how needed we are, trying to convince ourselves that this world just doesn't function without us. And in doing so, we miss out on what we're really called to - which is not to make this world turn, but to make this world love. Not one of us is here to make this world work; we're here to make it beautiful. And so, as I try to make my way back into my life after being a bit out of it for awhile, this is where my focus is. This is where my heart is.
I want to make your life more beautiful. I want to be the little bit of glitter that...maybe doesn't seem necessary, but it catches the light in just a certain sort of way and makes everything sparkle. I want to be the thread that maybe doesn't seem like much, but it makes this place - this story, this community, this love, this life - stronger.