We appreciate your prayers.
Well, today I attempted to hop aboard the law school train again. If my posts start to appear dark, dreary, and heartless, please know that I am closing in on my career of chasing ambulances. The last week of freedom was spent at various coffee shops reading and pretending to actually drink coffee. I also managed to force Ginny into hanging out with me every waking minute by incessantly telling her that school starts soon.
My thoughts as of late have hovered around a simple enough subject- honesty. Just the dropping of the word brings back elementary flashbacks of honest Abe & cherry trees. Honesty is something pushed heavily on children. However, it rarely comes up in adult circles. The subject appears juvenile. Something we should have grasped long ago and silly to discuss. Until recently, honesty only came up if my trust was betrayed. Upon Ted Haggard-like revelations, I would gasp at the lies.
Then it all hit the fan.
You see, there was Eliot. And with him came many difficult questions from folks who cared. And this whole blog thing exposed my thoughts (admittedly, that may not always be a good thing). Early on Ginny & I felt the enticement to keep up a good face when the difficult questions came. You know, throw out the answers that come so easy and typically squelch the questioning. We felt the desire to leave a good impression on the one with whom we spoke.
We're doing good.
His will be done.
We’re hanging in there.
If we were the least bit vulnerable, there would come a tug upon us to end the sentence with a “but”, and proceed to assure that we knew in the end that all would be well. Somewhere, there is an unwritten rule in Christendom that any revelation of tough feelings or hurt must be closely followed by a warm, fuzzy about the sovereignty or goodness of God.
We made the conscious decision that we would be honest- with each other and with whomever inquired. Instead of the above, with our decision made, the answers typically required an awkward pause for thought, then such answers as:
I don’t know.
Why doesn’t God…?
Also, confessions of difficulty would hang out there, just waiting to be fixed. But I began to let them stay there. No magic fix. No smiley face sticker. Just my pain and questions.
This honesty has come with a price. I sometimes feel that my newfound honesty policy induces more cringing than toilet paper trailing behind me when I exit the bathroom. I am sure much of this is imagined. But I am just as sure that some of it is not. Let’s face it, I, myself, am not exempt from a cringe when others expose there real struggles. I’ve lived in the “I’m fine” world for quite some time- and I liked it.
Why am I afraid of this honesty? For some reason, many of us have come to believe that we carry the torch of Christianity (and we do), and that we must represent our side to the world as the super-duper-fix-you-upper. I recently got to hear a friend of mine, Donald Miller, speak- and by friend, I mean I have read his book.
He addressed this honesty problem by likening the church’s approach to an infomercial for the Magic Bullet . These commercials that promise to do it all, will only disappoint in the end. It is not our God that is the disappointment. It is the reality that He is not what the package promised.
I am guilty at times of desiring Christ to be the bullet. He’ll fix it all. However, this is not the gospel. Jesus guarantees that we will have troubles. The scriptures invite us to “join in Christ’s sufferings”. The invitation to Christianity wouldn’t sell a lick on late night.
But then again, the call is to a relationship with one whose ways are unlike ours. Where we want the Bullet, He offers His presence throughout both blessing and valleys.
So, the pain is immense. The journey is difficult. And God has not taken it from me. But, I believe He is near and will continue to draw me to a deeper understanding of who He is through it all…honestly.