Jon Foreman has said he writes songs about things he can’t figure out, which is pretty much why he writes songs.
In parallel, I write when I want to understand something. The process of writing, for me, is also the way I work out my thoughts and ideas.
The hardest part is because it gets posted for posterity, it ends up defining me. But, as Foreman sang, “Nothing is sound.” Nothing, especially not my ramblings.
The past week meant the start of the summer session. And as with the beginning of every new chapter, introductions have to be made in order to make it to the next page.
I find it hard to introduce myself to new people. I suppose it’s because of the fact that with every new face, my story changes. Since I happen to believe the best way to understand the words written in red is to be in community with people, every new person entering the scene brings with them the potential for growth. And most of the time, growth means change. And change and I aren’t the best of friends.
The most interesting thing about where I am at the moment is that I am in community with aliens.
You know, to my world.
Like I am to theirs.
These people don’t look like me.
Some of them would chuck me if they really knew me.
Most of them believe the opposite as I do.
And too many annoy the crap out of me just by being in the same room as I am.
In all honesty, I’d never invite them to my birthday party, and the irony is that this fact means nothing to them. They don’t really have any reason to try to get along with me, except perhaps, to avoid social awkwardness.
So I pray for grace for them as they deal with me.
Because nobody has the goods on perfect relationships.
Least of all me.
And in a school that stretches the student population from the 16-year-old homeschooled achiever to the 60-year-old retiree who wants to keep busy, variety is the norm.
Not quite as comfortable as I’d like.
But since my more noble goal in life is to have my faith infuse all the roles I fulfill with authenticity and transparency, I set myself up. But without any illusions.
Because could it be that in the stripping away of all illusions, we lend ourselves to reality? And in interacting with reality, we actually take steps toward real progress in leaking Jesus? I can hear Jon Foreman singing, “I want to thrive not just survive.” So do I, dear Jon, so do I.
We all know of at least one person who has crafted a whole new identity for themselves on social media. Every post and picture is equivalent to a block on Minecraft, building an alternate world to either amuse or insult those privileged enough to be in their circles. Every day they extend the reach of their tangled webs, but really, they’re the only ones who believe their lives are as good as they make it seem.
People who attempt to impress turn me off.
They make me feel like I have to buy their product.
Conversely, eager-to-please people make me uncomfortable.
They make me feel like I am indebted to them.
People who go by their real names, and simply expect me to respond to that, make things easier for me.
They give me permission to be real.
If I don’t have to be someone else, then I can work on being a better me.
When I write I reveal much about myself. Mostly, I admit I am not as perfect as my husband—when he is in trouble, claims I am.
And when I am in community, I try not to wear masks.
From one alien to another,
sometimes I feel like maybe all we need to do for each other is to provide directions to the bathroom.