Monday, January 5, 2015


Yesterday at church was one of the those Sundays when a 3 minute sermon was packed into 30 minutes. The message was on point; it just didn't require as much time as it was given. It could really have been reduced to three sentences:

  1. Having friends is a good thing.
  2. Having true friends who stick with you when times get tough is a GREAT thing.
  3. Jesus wants to be our friend and for us to be surrounded by friends who help us draw nearer to him.
Like I said- all good stuff! But I confess that in the remaining 28 minutes or so my mind wandered and my thoughts turned to the friendships in my own life. There are so many people who have stuck by me through thick and thin and my life is so much the better for it. A list of names began to scroll across the window of my mind and the blessings each has brought or still brings to my soul was very clear to me. And as these thoughts processed and whirled in my head, I cam to realization. Everyone has hard times. We all have "stuff" in our lives. And the people who have been most significant in my life are not the ones who get the most right. I feel closest to the ones most willing to share their bruises.

Life gets real when we talk about the people that hurt us, the things that have damaged us and the failures we are haunted by on a daily basis. We can be better friends when we quit saying things are "just fine" and start sharing our needs and our pain. Over the years many people have come to me with their hurts and bruises, and it is clear to me now that those same people are the ones who have loved me through all of mine. Bruises appear in all shapes and sizes- but they all hurt. Friendships grow deeper when we allow each other into those painful places and allow one another to love as God wants us to love- unconditionally no matter the circumstances. The band Train had a song a couple of years ago called Bruises in which two old friends reunite and speak of how "bruises make for better're not alone in how you've been, everybody loses, we've all got bruises." They also talk about the inclination of people to want to fix each other, to blot out the bruises, when in fact it is our blemishes that often make us unique. It's a great song. Watch and listen below.

So the truth is yesterday's sermon spoke to me. Maybe not until after I tuned it out, but spoke to me. God moves in mysterious ways. And I am so thankful that I have so many people in my life who love me, bruises and all. Have a great Monday!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Carl you are an inspiration to many, including myself. Love you bruises and all. Wouldn't want you any other way.

  2. Thanks Robert. And ditto, my brother!


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