Hi there! This is day 20 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness.
Have you ever seen the show Undercover Boss? It’s fascinating. Here is the rundown, for those of you who have more of a life than I do and never watch TV: a CEO or other chief-executive-somebody from a company goes undercover as an employee, usually doing the most menial job available, in order to bear witness to the experiences of their underlings and hopefully understand them a little better. (It’s pretty awesome, but bring your tissues. You’ve been warned.)
The thing that is always interesting to me is how shocked the executives often are at the way their employees are treated and appreciated (or unappreciated), and what work they do on a daily basis. They are often extremely out of touch with the way their company is operating. Why does this switch-a-roo sort of premise work so well? I think it’s because it flips a dynamic on its head that is so prevalent in the world we live in.
The Jesus we serve did something so revolutionary, y’all. In our society, often the leaders with the most power are the ones furthest removed from the people. They have the biggest houses and the most money. They have security detail and private transportation that physically insulate them from those they serve, and they are often surrounded by advisers, staff, and luxuries that mentally and emotionally separate them from those they serve.
Jesus was not like this. He became completely one of us. Christ was literally born in a barn and lived modestly; the Scriptures say there was nothing about Him that was outwardly attractive or fancy. Jesus could have surrounded Himself with angels to protect His person at all times. He could have built Himself the nicest home in Galilee – He owns everything, after all. But He did not fly in on a private jet, roll in on the best chariot, or even ride in on the finest horse. He was born to us as a helpless baby. God took on a human body and with it, human childhood, with its scraped knees and chicken pox and playground bullying. He went through puberty and adolescence and felt the weirdness of His body changing and the sting of peer disapproval. Christ worked a blue collar job, probably watched His friends get married, and felt the loneliness of being without a partner Himself. He caught our colds and endured our headaches, and felt pain and loss when His loved ones died. Jesus did not separate Himself from His people, He dove headfirst into our life experiences by living them Himself. What a compassionate and wise leader. Jesus knew He had to become what He wanted to save.
If our Messiah had not become one of us, He could not serve us as well as He did and does. (Think of your representatives in government who don’t always seem to represent you or your community very well.) In contrast, Jesus has sat with you in silence and stood over you when you’ve been afraid. He has danced with you in your happiest moments, and cried with you in your most devastating ones. He has listened to your every word. He is as close as our very breath. I am so thankful we have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, because He has felt them firsthand. Jesus became the ultimate undercover boss. (In fact, He should probably be getting royalties for giving them the idea for the show. Life’s so unfair, man.)
So today, if you are struggling, remind your heart: Jesus sees you. He sees and understands every inch of your pain. He gets why you react the way you do to certain words that sting more than they might for someone else because of your story. He has been there for every moment of your life and knows every detail of your context, and He has lived a life of His own, and understands human struggle and loss and hurt. There is still work to be done, but for now, rest in the knowledge that He sees you. You are understood. You are loved.
May we be people who, knowing how loved and seen we are, go out and spend that love on others. See others. Serve others. And may we serve not from our own cozy places of comfort, but arm in arm with the broken and needy. May we understand that in our brokenness, Jesus came to link arms with us, too. Let’s soak up that love and then give it away like we’re made of it. I believe in you.