One of the unique things about the Catch, and we think worthy of your support, is that we are not afraid to reveal our own processes. No one is perfect, and leadership does not consist in the absence of failure, but in the ability to identify with failure and grow thereby.
Along these lines, my wife, Marti, pointed out something she felt was missing in my report of our son Chandler’s awards banquet last week (see Friday’s Catch). It’s probably something you wouldn’t have caught unless I revealed it to you, which is what I am going to do right now.
In my attempt to capture the incredible experience of watching 75 kids on stage, working through the obvious failures in their lives or they wouldn’t be here, I failed to connect them to the failures in my own life. I looked at them as through a window, with me on one side and them on the other, and not a mirror, as it should have been — to see in them a mirror of myself. Indeed, the mere fact that they are “them” and I am “us” shows the distance I wanted to maintain in comparing them to myself. I failed to capture the fact that at the level of our need, there is no difference. There is only one big “us.”
This is something I know intellectually, and have written about numerous times, but has it has worked its way into the core of my being? I’m afraid not, and it’s times like this that my slip shows.
Marti’s notes to me following the banquet are particularly revealing here. “I noticed no judgment between them [the students]. Rather I saw empathy with each other. They get it. They know pain and loss — the areas in their lives that the world references as failure. No one tried to disguise their real self or act as if they were disgusted by the real life of others. They recognize each other as low-life. They embrace each other’s heart. There was no question among them — they had a true fellowship of getting in touch with each other in their fallenness.
“There was a lot of pain expressed and beautiful wishes by many, yet they are not living with regrets. Chandler does not want to be constrained by things that he wishes had not happened — mistakes he wishes he hadn’t made. Chandler is going for a new life — not the same life.”
Every student on the platform was living proof that each of them is inadequate, and as such are wholly qualified for the grace of God. In the core of their being, God’s strength is made perfect in this weakness.
Chandler is telling me to find my own failure, leave behind regret, false illusions, and lack of empathy for those who are failures like me. I do not need to go visit the homeless or 75 kids in a treatment center to experience low-life. I need only to look at myself, and any one else willing to embrace other low-life like me. If you want God in your life — it starts (and stays) here.
As Marti writes, “Humiliation puts us with other low-life on His holy ground, truly kissing His feet with our tears of thanksgiving, where the power and the glory of Christ takes over, wiping out logic and reason that says, ‘an eye for an eye.’ And this is very good because we have all done very stupid things.”
If you resonate with this kind of honest thinking and living, you may want to consider not just continuing to receive the Catch, but consider becoming a MemberPartner in the Catch community — a monthly supporter who by your membership are saying, “I want to put some weight behind what the Catch stands for. I want to see it continue, and I want to support its many efforts and programs that bring strength and courage to those who are finding that failure is not the end, but the beginning.” There is no better time than now, as we are in our MemberPartner month with an ambitious goal of 100 new MemberPartners. Be one of those today by clicking here.
From a current MemberPartner:
I’m writing to ask for your help in keeping this “All for and One for All”, Catch Ministry thriving. I’m inviting everyone to become a Member Partner for as little as $10.00 a month. This ministry is an absolute God send for all of us but especially for those who are disenfranchised with a church or a caring community. A ministry, like Jesus, that accepts you right where you are, to come join this fellowship family and see answered prayer every day, people feeling welcomed and comfortable to share their life and stories with us and most of all Grace Turned Outward!