“We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no.”
I apologize if I now got that song stuck in your head. If you’re a parent or a Disney fan, you know what I mean.
There are several articles about how Disney’s movie Encanto ignited various conversations with therapists about family dynamics and relationships that needed healing. I know it for a fact, because all of my appointments had at least one reference to the animated movie as of late.
If you’ve yet to the movie, it’s about a family in Columbia who was blessed with gifts (aka powers) that they use to serve their community. Everyone has a gift except for the main character, Maribel. The story follows her journey to find her gift, and how despite everyone else being gifted, everyone shared the same ache of either being too much or not enough for their grandmother.
Let me ask you. Have you ever been called “too much?” Or had the word “too” in front of another adjective to describe you?
Think too much. Feel too much. Do something too much. Too old. Too young.
Honestly - that’s my list.
I started my corporate career at the age of 22 and was told I was too cute when I’d give an idea, then as I got older too much of a risk taker. People have tissue ready for me because I feel very deeply. Sometimes, I can’t sleep at night after watching the news because I’m trying to figure out what I can do to help. To top things off, I’m an enneagram 4, so I also like to sit on my window bench to watch the rain.
You see, even writing about this topic would have been labeled as “thinking too much” by some of my friends and family, though I love them dearly. But it’s also this very topic where I’ve gotten to witness more of the Lord’s kindness as I wrestled with Him on it, and learned to embrace His design for me. These are a few of my reflections that I pray will bless you no matter where you fall on the spectrum - too much or not enough.
First off, our character does not surprise the Lord. There’s nothing we can or can’t do that’ll make Him say, “I can’t believe that.”
From what we can tell from Scripture, God cares about the details. He was intentional about creating you as you. Me as me. From the color of our skin, to the size of our big toe, to the way we process information in our minds, and the things that would our break hearts.
Just look at the words used in Scripture for how He created us:
- “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.” Psalm 139:13
- “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
- “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” “Isaiah 64:8
- “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
Knitted, workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made, work of His hand.
Every intricacy, He made on purpose. With purpose. And for a purpose…..
To be His Image bearers.
Sam Allberry in His book, What God has to say About our Bodies summarizes Genesis 1:28 like this: “Being made in God’s image means we have the capacity and calling to reflect God to the world. To represent Him to His creation.”
You know how they say that if God said it more than once, He must have really meant it (like in rejoice, and again I say rejoice?”) Well did you know that in Genesis, the Lord mentions making us in His image twice? Image bearing is our vocation.
And if the world wants to label us “too much” - well then - God is the original too much.
He knew it too. He said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first.”
Being too much is in our bloodline.
So we were created on purpose to be His image bearers and to do what….to bring Him glory.
How does, to borrow Jess Connolly’s term, “too muchness” bring Him glory? Well by the world’s definition of what “too much” is, everything Jesus did was too much. Giving sight to the blind, speech to the mute, conversing with the Samaritan, tax collectors and prostitutes. It’s a long list.
But His most dramatic move was the Easter story. I know there are times we want to cast a stone at the people who led Him to the cross but the truth is, without His death, without His “muchness,” there’d be no resurrection. And no resurrection means no gift of the Holy Spirit, no torn veil.
Hear this. There are people who will only hear about God because of you being “too much.”
This past Sunday, Pastor Jon Kelly from Chicago West Bible Church asked us a very thoughtful question about our prayer life: If God were to answer your prayers would the world change, or would only your world change?
In that same vein - If you held back, would the world change, or would only your world change?
If you didn’t use your God-given voice, gifts, or the way He forms thoughts and plans in your head and heart - would the world change or would only yours?
Again, I’m not telling anyone to be an open book. This is simply an invitation to be authentically you. To bring God glory at the cost of looking foolish to the world.
I don’t know what you’ve done that others have labeled “too much,” but if it’s brought the Lord glory, let it be because His love is too much to keep all to ourselves.
His love is too much to play an extra when we’ve been invited to be one of the supporting characters. His disciples. His beloved.
Let me close our time together with one more mic drop from the Bible: The Lord never called us to be lukewarm anyway. In Revelation 3:16, He tells the Church in Laodicea: “Because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
If what the world calls “too much” is really just you being all in - then be all in.
Be all in for Jesus. With Jesus.…do it all so that no one will miss out on hearing about who they are in Jesus because YOU know who YOU are in Jesus.