The things we whisper

It takes an act of will for me to get it.

I’ve got to work at realizing some things about myself.

When I take the easy way out, I can be out of touch with some hard to face truths.

In my brain, I have this army of Jedi.  The Jedi, as you might know, can calmly say things.  If they throw in a strange little motion at the wrist, whoever they are speaking to believes them.

I position my little army of Jedi in front of things I don’t want to think about.  Memories I’d rather not go back to.  Realities I’d rather not face.  They stand there, in front of these things, and they say “You don’t want to think about that.”  And “This isn’t going so badly.”  And “You did nothing to feel sorry about ”

Because the Jedi in my brain all have that wrist thing going on, I usually believe them.  It’s an act of will to get past them.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s easy for me to be out of touch.  It’s easy for me to be out of touch with the lousy things I have said.  With the lousy things I have done.  With the destinations that my path has lead me to.

I truly believe I am forgiven of those things that I repent of.   But in order to be forgiven I have to repent.  One problem with the mind tricks of the Jedi inside my brain is that they can cause me to skip over this step.  They can lead me to think that there is nothing wrong.

There are some things about me that no one knows.  That’s o.k.  Some of our errors should only be between us and God.  But this is a place to be particularly careful.  The things I have confessed to a trusted sibling in Christ feel more real, somehow.  It is easiest for me to gloss over those things that I have never confessed.

Can I challenge you a little bit?  Can I suggest that there are Jedi in your brain, too?  (O.K.  Perhaps you’re less of a nerd than I am.  Maybe we ought to call them something else.)

I think it’s easier to keep reading than it is to recognize a hard truth.  I think this hard truth will only get recognized when we stop, take in the silence, and breathe.  I’d go so far as to suggest that one of the reasons we are so afraid of the silence is because these truths come to seek us out.

Take a moment in the silence.  The silence is more important than anything I will say to you.

Now, I’d like to challenge you a little more.

Consider the following:

Luke 8:17 ” For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”


Luke 12:2 “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”

Luke 12:3 ” What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”

Mathew 4:22 ” For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”

Mathew 10:26 ” There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”

Jesus states a truth not once but several times.  It’s not an occasional, wimplily worded possibility.  Jesus does not say, “Hey, there’s an outside possibility that a few minor secrets are going to be hinted at, a handful of  people might have some suspisions about them.”  He uses strong, unapologetic, categorical language.  He says nothing is hidden or conceiled that will not be made known.

We will stand naked and exposed.  All of the things that we try to deny about ourselves?  It’s not only the case that they are currently known by God.  We should expect for them to known by everyone.

My point in writing all this is not to use this reality as a weapon.  I don’t think that obsessing on this truth is going to go very far to alter our behavior.  Partially, I’m writing to share the evolution of my own reactions to these realities.

When I took a full account of all the stupid, hurtful, malicious, and evil things I’ve done, I used to stand in abject terror of the idea that some day they will be known by everyone.  I don’t think the solution, though, is to deny what we’ve done.  Nor is the solution to deny the verses quoted above.

What is the solution?  Well, I think there is one.  But that’ll come next time.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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