Baggage – Carrying our Past With Us

“We are born broken. We live by mending. The grace of God is the glue.” ~ Eugene O’Neill

I saw this on Twitter posted by Pastor Eugene Cho.  Normally, I would’ve just passed it by.  However, this quote spoke volume to me.

You see, I believe we all have baggage.  All the little and big things from our past be it mistakes, people, or secrets, we all carry that into the present and future.  No matter who you are, and whether you are a Christian or not, we all carry that.

We as Christians don’t feel like going to church or work with others.  I still remember from my mission trip to Thailand in ’93, that the number 1 reason that the missionaries leave their posts and return home is none other than other missionaries.  I was only 20 at the time so I did not know what that really meant.  Over the years though, I have felt that and lived that.  It’s so true that it’s hard to live with other people around us.  So to work with others would be even more difficult.

Younger people don’t want to go to church but just stay at home and use TV and the Internet to receive the message these days.  While that may seem efficient on the surface, inside, it reveals something darker.

If you recall the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35), this servant that was forgiven a million dollars could not forgive the debt of a friend who owed him $1000.  The master who had originally forgiven him of that million dollars found out and put him in jail for being ungrateful and unmerciful.  We all are that unmerciful servant in that we were all forgiven million dollars.  What others have done to us and do to us are small compared to what God has forgiven.

As the playwright Eugene O’Neill stated, “we are born broken”.  We are born messed up and none of us are in “good condition” to begin with.  This is why when we try to work with others or live together in harmony, it is so freaking hard.  I have holes in my heart.  So do you.  And all those around us.  Our own imperfections can’t deal with each others’ on top of our own.  None of us should be surprised to learn that.

We try to be islands and become ascetic.  For anyone else, that may be fine.  But I believe God has put us to live with each other for a reason.  If we truly understand the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant and realize just how much we have been forgiven, we can forgive others.  And second sentence of Eugene O’Neill’s quote becomes possible.  “We live by mending”.  Why?  Because “the grace of God is the glue.”

As the life unfolds before me and life goes on, I am reminded of the million dollar debt I am cleared of and that God asks me to love others just as He has loved me and accept others with their imperfections just as they are as we all struggle to mend ourselves.  We shall truly fail if we use our own strength.  We will only succeed if we use the grace of God as glue.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.