Why do we lie?
I know that it is a given. But sometimes in the 21st century, with all the beautiful inventions we have that run our lives for us, I just want someone to reciprocate the truth.
There are so many people that run around constantly, and never say good things. There are so many people who will never have anything good to say, because they will never allow it. There are so many people that will accept their lives are prematurely over. There are so many people who don’t understand that changing the world comes down to them. There are so many people that think that if they try to change the world as big as they possibly can, maybe then they will find redemption.
And as I trickle through an abandon my thoughts on the doorstep of regret, sometimes it can paralyze you to think about how many more dreams are also left there.
So many beautiful things, falling short for lack of funding, for the wrong skin color, for the wrong amount of background, for simply not surviving into fashion. I am not my ideas, but they are a part of me. And when I pick and choose like this, attempting to evade the celestial filter that attempts to evade me, I feel like I’m lost on a river raft and it’s almost better that way.
Why do we punish beauty, in our thoughts, in our words, in our tones of voice, in the way we speak and the motions we use to do so? A dance is defined by the dancer and the audience, and whether they assign the same value to the dance. The wave and nod has been part of us ever since we decided to really invest in mass conformity, and that should be obvious. But if it’s a smile and nod? Is it so bad then? If we all live our lives so miserable, and the enemy of the good is limiting it, then why don’t we just accept it where we find it and allow it into our own homes?
Our own homes, with our own children and dogs. Our own hearts, even if they are riddled with forgotten pockmarks. Do you trust me? Would you take that leap? Sometimes I wish I could trust so many people, but more than anything, I wish I could trust God more.
If I take this leap, will you catch me? Eventually the proverbial safety net other humans can offer me isn’t enough. I have to find something more. If I want such beautiful things, surely I can ask God to bring that cosmic safety net my way? He sent Jesus for a reason, and why should I be afraid?
Religion soup, but what about Christ in a new place? Will he flourish? He does. Evangelism is a real thing.
Why is blind faith suddenly the enemy? Why do we ask for different rules to judge ourselves by? Call me “misguided” again and I may actually cry in public. Good luck excusing that one onto other people you can blame. Blame me for my emotions. Blame me for my logic, that transcends yours, because it’s not based on my ego. Blame me for history, and blame other people’s misdeeds on me and whatever else comes with how I look. In this ridiculous cycle of accepting the blame and understanding, the funny thing is that I would let you. I would let you blame me if I could.
But I don’t have to. I believe in Christ, and I believe he also felt that way. “Martyr complex”. How can you not see it?
Is something really so crazy as hoping that maybe after a while, it wouldn’t hurt so much, for all of us? You can call it “noble” and still refuse it if you want. You always do. I always did. But the more I’m looking for always had the same source. Wouldn’t you want to know that, if you value your happiness so greatly? You can be happier. Step one is removing the blame.
It was not you that broke the world. Clearly that is the case. And we say all of these beautiful little sermons, and they will always fall short, in a way. The grace isn’t meant to come from your pastor. It isn’t meant to come from your friends. It is meant to simply come, and come from Christ. You don’t get to explain it. It is. Be grateful. That is all you can do.
Why should I be afraid? Have you never seen something beautiful enough that you’d like to call it a miracle? It just comes down to words and authority at this point anyways. Would you allow the truth to remain the truth, even when you cannot explain it? Can the knowing that you feel be of some value, actually, in the grand scheme of things? I may believe that most of the equation comes from being a decent person, but there are some wounds that just don’t heal without a little help. Would you ask for it, if it asked for you first? It did. He did.
Should any of this surprise us anymore? If I say “I’m not surprised”, am genuinely not angry, genuinely run to God and away from all of it AND am willing to talk about it, your stereotypes dissolve just as quickly as mine. Some of us were born to call you on your nonsense. You can think what you want. I don’t believe it is so simple as not caring, because I believe the only simple part IS caring. I don’t want to buy a book on caring. I want my story not just speak for me, but for God.
If he is inside me, then I can’t separate him from who I am. I would never try to hurt you by telling you that you are forced into accepting faith. That is not what I believe. But would you see all that I believe and call it worse? Would you allow yourself to “not know”, just for the sake of conversational politeness, if nothing else? What is so different about us both? Do I have to know so much better than you to know that I come in peace?
The whole world weeps together now. We are as connected as ever, and that is okay because it is. Sometimes, I’m “okay” means “I haven’t given up yet”. I’m okay.
I know that this isn’t MY battle to be fighting, but please don’t put your words in my mouth when I say that it should be. When I talk about how greatly God can use a person. When I know it is true because I see it. You can write me off as crazy, like you did before. That crap’s getting old.
We equivocate over these tiny problems, and we ignore the pain because we think it brings us further from God. Jesus wept. Jesus wept. He wept and wept and died, okay? He did that. It wasn’t me. If you really believe in a Christ that died for you specifically, then what exactly is the problem with allowing yourself to hurt a little here and there, and understand that fully?
We all will hurt. You can’t know life without pain. Will you allow that to be the truth? Will you allow the simple reality that your pain isn’t the point just be, for a little bit? Death isn’t fair. Death isn’t okay. Death is death. Even as I grow to accept the good along with the awful that I’m accustomed to, some things will always sting. It isn’t that simple, in terms of fairness. I care about you and I’m sorry, but there was never any fairness here. There just wasn’t. It isn’t right. But it is, and you should know that.
Would you be upset with me if I listened and after so long listening, I still disagreed? I promise, it isn’t your fault or my fault or anyone’s. But I care about us both. I know that I can’t help either of us really, on my own. I will ask God to, and pray that he will. Other than that, there is nothing any of us can do, accept to listen and allow him to work through our lives. Yes, I am angry. Yes, I also weep. But I know that any good thing isn’t mine to claim, and I embrace that. I don’t have the scope that God does. I don’t have the right, the ability, or the know-how on how to judge. I don’t want that burden. How could I do that to my friends and family, even the ones I disagree with? How could I decide their “rights” and “wrongs”? I can’t see their hearts. I can’t be with them all the time. It was never my right but even logistically speaking, it would never work.
And yet we all judge. Is it less terrible over time, if you accept that you will never be perfect. Oh my friend, I don’t think so. I think it is equally terrible, and we just become okay with that. We just become okay with casting off our anger and weeping and unknowing into the void. We accept that we can’t be everything to everyone. If I want my friends and family and myself and the world to have a shot, I can choose faith, and ask for help. But it isn’t me, and it can’t come from me. If I care so deeply like this, I have to go to the one source that won’t drown me and actually makes it easier to breathe.
Will you run into the things that might kill you? Will you be able to? Will you trust that he could love you enough to be relentless in bringing you out of them? Will you bother to run towards the pain, instead of away from it. It will hurt equally, even if you don’t run towards it today. It will hurt then too. It may always hurt some. But if you truly want to be stronger, will you embrace what might kill you, only to find out that it was all smoke and mirrors to begin with? If you believe your faith will save you, then be in David’s lion’s den for just a little bit longer. No place I have ever seen has such ravenous wolves as high school, or as college, or as any place where you can explain the full extent of your faith and still have it hurt. The good and bad are in every place on earth. There is no paradise here.
It will be okay, regardless of what you choose. Life will go on, until it doesn’t. You may not have to choose today, but those are the stakes that you face. That is how I see it, and I may not be perfect, but I have seen quite a bit. You act as though I can’t hardly know. I do know. I understand. Understanding isn’t some handy dandy plant you grow for special occasions, but if you don’t use it as a garnish, it may save you. Sometimes it’s enough to be utterly helpless and trust that God will meet you there. He loved you from the beginning anyway.
We all want this depth. We all crave to know more, to actually have a good outlet for all that we can’t explain, to share being scared with someone, for just a few minutes, even if we can’t explain why. I may be out of the dark, but that doesn’t mean this game is over yet. It is a game. It was always that way, and if recognizing that doesn’t make me bitter, I should keep going.
You don’t have to like it. It does hurt. You aren’t alone. That is all anyone could ever say.
I hope that wherever you are at, that your week and your life would be blessed, even if you don’t accept what I believe. I hope that your love blesses others. I hope that you could be the person that you are called to be, and allow that love to change the world, regardless of whose it is. I care about you, and I want better for you. It isn’t too late.