After some reflection, and a few emails, I realized that I inadvertently wrote off a number of people two posts ago… and then upon FURTHER reflection, I realized that that was simply a manifestation of a bad pattern I’ve been falling into. If you’ve felt hit or silenced by anything I’ve said or done, this is for you.
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I support you. I am thankful for you and the courage you have gathered to go into your families, your churches, to the ends of your own particular cosmos and tell them what you are learning, what you believe, and why you think they should join you in your pursuit after justice and truth. You’re changing the world, drop by drop, and I support you.
I said some things the other day that may have implied that I think what you’re doing is not valuable. That is not true. What you’re doing is the labor of making disciples of all nations, of cracking open the walls to let more light in and more voices in and in the end, urging the entire community to move forward. To be better.
And I know it’s not easy, trying to piece together your World View, your faith, all while feeling isolated from your community. The only company you keep is that of the still small voice tugging you along and it can be lonely, but you do it anyway because you know it matters. You know that there are silent souls around you that need your revolutionary heart. That need your solidarity and friendship. That need the hope that is nestled within you, the one that can breathe new life into dying spaces.
I have heard from some that my tone was taciturn and cutting, and though I am over the tone conversations, I understand that screen and font, italics and Bolds, can mix up the messaging, delivering it in a way that was unintended.
I also understand my own impulsivity. If you peered into my day-to-day life, you’d see my mouth goes a million miles faster than my brain. The fast lane of the internet does not do me any favors here. It merely exasperates things.
I am, also, not good at online friendships. I know my contact info says contact me! Let’s talk! But I am rarely hopping on there to do it. I am notoriously bad at. And there are a million reasons why (mainly real life, and some emails are very heavy and I wind up feeling guilty that I can’t meet all the needs and I curl up into a ball, and try to forget. Though I never do.)
I am especially sorry for that one above. I know I’ve let some of you down there.
What I want, here, what I’ve always wanted, is for this space to feel both safe and motivating. Most of my blogging journey has been telling my story and offering affirmation to others, but sometimes, I feel the need to enter into the fiercer arenas, because I think that matters, but I think I’m learning my own ability to crush or lift up.
I am a pilgrim. I am moving through this all right beside you. I don’t have all the answers. I try my best, but sometimes, I straight up wonder if I am a sacrilegious heretic. I spoke with a Christian writer the other day and asked if I am actually responsible for my words and how they impact the feelings and faith of those reading. To my smirk he nodded, yes, yes you are. He told me the prayer he says every time before he goes to speak. “Lord suppress what is not of you, and promote what is.” This is a prayer I am working into my online routine.
And I’m thankful for people calling me on my shit. Because I do screw up. I write people off very quickly, only to later write them back on (if that’s a thing?)
Like last week, I wrote a post about NT Wright and within an hour took it down. My brother called me (he hearts NT Wright) and disagreed with my heavy handedness and the flurry of misunderstandings that might fling out from it. And he was right.
I don’t know if this is the case, but after World Vision, something broke here. My capacity for grace has become scarce. I have become more and more desensitized to my words, calling people “cowards” and “liars” like it’s no big deal, forgetting that those names have teeth and lasting effects. Forgetting that I haven’t a clue what their motives are, what their aim is, and that that kind of judgment has a way of boomeranging back around.
I am blathering now, but more importantly, I am sorry. I’m working on doing better. On being kinder. More gracious. More thoughtful. And I’m thankful for your continued company.