You're a mess. I'm a mess.
Everybody's a mess.
A small percentage of people have cleaned up their mess pretty well. Most have cleaned up all the visible mess but have mold growing in the walls. A few folks' mess is on display for all to see.
In other words. People are broken. There are things deep inside that cause stress, breed resentment, elicit fear, that–simply put–hurt.
Now, take two or three or ten messy people and put them together...
You've got a mess on your hands. Mess from wrongdoing, mess from personality differences, mess from past hurts...
But you've also got opportunity for growth, healing, deep friendship, and real love.
That's what Heather Zempel-Discipleship Pastor at National Community Church-writes about in Community is Messy. If you're going to develop real relationships, let people into your life to know you and dive into their lives and know them, it's not going to be a clean enterprise.
Heather dives head first into the mess, drawing on 10+ years of experience on staff at NCC, a masters in biological engineering, and many attempts at intentionally creating community among small groups of people. I cannot recommend her book to you highly enough.
Now for a caveat and a counter to it. Heather is my boss on NCC's Discipleship Team, so I'm sure my recommendation is biased. But the fact that I work for Heather also means that I know she's the real deal. She has opened her life–allowing others into her mess–and has willinglydove into the mess of the lives of others... including myself.