Journal

sitinthechair.org

This past spring, I had the opportunity to work on something that combined an incredible story, a passionate client and an incredibly personal message. Looking back, I realize it was an incredibly rare opportunity & the resulting film (at the bottom of this post) is one I'm very proud of. Darren-Mabrey-1Darren Mabrey, sitinthechair.org

But first, a quick story - something much more personal than I typically share here:

In the late summer of 2006, my marriage was on the brink of collapse. The infidelity of my heart had bubbled to the surface and it seemed I’d lost complete control of myself. Thankfully, God intervened in the form of wisdom. Not mine mind you. My wife’s.

Knowing that I was incapable of making God-centered decisions, she called my best friends - men I’d been close to since before I could drive - and they and their wives, without kid-gloves but always with an abundance of love, began to help us pick up the pieces of our life. In time, repentance came & it was like a fog lifted inside my heart.

In the years since, I’ve come to understand that I do not have a unique story. At some point, every marriage gets rocked to its core.

Fast forward to last fall and a very strange phone call from that incredibly passionate client  - a man named Darren Mabrey. I wasn’t sure what to make of what he was asking of me but we set a date to get together.

Over lunch, I sat with Darren, his wife April & my long-time friend Steve Durman and listened. The story I heard was eerily familiar: a selfish man, a strong-willed wife and a marriage on the brink of collapse. I recognized the turn immediately. Where I had long-time friends, Darren had a chair.

Darren-Mabrey-3

And it was the chair - and what it symbolized - that drew me to this project. I, like Darren was desperately scared of being found out. And when the truth came out, I expected my wife and friends to cut & run. They didn’t. Where Darren expected to find judgement & ridicule he instead found this thing called abundant life - and with it came his purpose.

The poetry of God’s way is overwhelming to me sometimes.

Darren’s message is simple: surrender completely, at the risk of shame & ridicule, to the unyielding mercy of God. And for me, with my past, this is a really compelling message. My friends, like Darren’s chair, didn’t let me off the hook. They didn’t let me make excuses. They forced me - for the first time in my life - to take stock of who I was and confess it.

Darren-Mabrey-2

At the heart of all of this is the simple truth that we need each other. Badly. I needed my friends & my wife to love me well. Darren needed the men in the bookstore bible study the night he sat in the chair.

My hope is that when people see this film something stirs inside them. Something begs them to follow Darren’s lead. And that they find The Church, without kid gloves but an abundance of love, waiting. The future of our families and marriages and churches hangs on the willingness of God's people to daily sit in the chair and be honest about who they really are and to show others it’s safe to do the same.

[vimeo 24688402 580 326]

Please take a minute to watch Sit In The Chair & if you're so inclined to visit Darren's website (http://sitinthechair.org). This is a startup ministry, in its infancy & it needs all the support it can get. But trust me, as someone who's sat in the chair, this is a message every one needs to hear.