"I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are"
It's a compelling movie that reminds us that we all have value and sometimes it takes someone else to help us, remind us and encourage us to develop that value. The movie is the historical fiction account of PT Barnum, as he begins to fulfill his dreams.
He comes along and changes the lives of group of social outcasts, people who, if they were buckets, would be considered leaky buckets, full of holes, not fit for use.
But he gives them purpose.
He gives them joy.
And, in so doing so, he unites them, together as a family.
Alas, it’s a historical fiction movie; and P.T Barnum was a man with many faults.
In the New Testament of the Bible, in the Gospel of John, in Chapter 4, the story is told of an encounter that Jesus had with a woman who comes to a well, to draw some water up in her bucket, during the heat of the day…Normally, people don't make the journey to the well during the heat of the day, either early or later, but not then. In this encounter we find that she is a woman who feels shame, perhaps unloved and unwelcome; a social outcast in her own community because of her past (she's had five failed marriages)... But instead of meeting a man of many faults and questionable motive, she meets Jesus Christ, a man of moral integrity and divinely ordained sinless perfection. Jesus calls her out of the shadows of her scars, shame, disappointments, weakness and failures, and gives her purpose, joy and unite her together with a family.
If she were to be characterized as a bucket, then she would be a bucket filled with holes. A leaky bucket. What good is a bucket with holes? And how could it possibly hold this living water Jesus talked to her about?
Yet, to her, Jesus talks to her repeatedly about worship (in just a few short verses, John 4:21-25 - 8 times he uses the word “worship” which is surrender, submission, allegiance to God). Worship is: a willingness to be led by the Spirit of Jesus to act obediently according to His truth. And perhaps, like the woman Jesus met that day, we can feel unqualified, that we carry too much baggage, we've failed too many times, to be of any good use. It's like we think we need to be a perfect receptacle, bucket, in order to experience the fullness of God's promises and purpose.
We mistakenly think we need to capture all that God wants to pour into our lives, when in fact all what He wants to do is pour through the brokenness of our lives, into the lives of others. He only asks us to be filled by the unending flow of His living water. There's an old story from India that reminds us of this. Those leaks that we thought we had to hide, are perfectly placed to allow the grace and life of His living water to flow more freely.
Where do I meet Jesus? How do I get filled to overflowing:
- Profess faith in Jesus
- acknowledge your sin, your scar, your shame, disappointment, weakness and/or failure to him.
- get filled regularly: return thanks to God; listen to or read His word; surround yourself with others who are doing the same; serve wholeheartedly; ask forgiveness.
….it doesn't matter if we're a leaky bucket, every drop of the life-giving water of God's grace that pours into your life is meant to flow out of you to others…read the end of that story in John 4, and discover the courage that infused this woman's veins as she went back to her village to simply share the story of how Jesus had changed her perspective on life.
"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me"