Authorise (verb) – To give authority or official power to; empower: There can be so many times in our lives when we feel alone, as though no one understands; the experience of heartbreak, grief, remorse or struggle often leads us believe our story is over or that it has less value than the stories of those around us who seem to be sailing effortlessly through life. Firstly, those shiny people aren’t normal, in fact I don’t believe they even exist. But secondly, the life of Jesus declares that these moments of struggle aren’t the end of our stories. When Jesus was on earth he chose to spend a lot of his time with outcasts, misfits, those who society did not value because the stories of struggle they carried with them somehow meant they didn’t matter as much in the world they lived in – the orphan, widow, disabled, poor, grieving and prostitute. He sat with the outcast, He cried with the grieving and whilst Jesus’ presence didn’t necessarily change their situation or social status it did transform their lives. The vulnerable solidarity of Jesus with the poor, the empty and the grieving was found to have an authenticity and a power unlike what they had known. Jesus brought authority to those who were living unauthorised lives. There may be parts of your life that don’t look anything like you wanted them to, you may be in that season now, but it’s people like you Jesus used to seek out to hang out with. He didn’t hang out with the outcasts to tell them everything happens for a reason and that God won’t give you more than you can handle. He chose to sit and listen and cry with people, He came to bring authority and value to your story, however messy it is.

Lizzie Lowrie