Chaos and Contradiction

When I uploaded last week’s blog I knew it would be hard. Let me clarify. I knew that blogging THIS WEEK would be hard. Not that it wasn’t difficult to admit to sitting alone on a Saturday night watching movies while throwing myself a pity party- not pretty stuff. Nor was it particularly easy to admit that Jesus called me on the carpet for stuff. Big stuff. I knew the real challenge, however, would be writing this week. Because I knew that I would probably fail and I knew I would not want to admit it to you.

But I had promised myself that if I was going to do this blog I was not going to waste my time or your time with posturing, pretending or glossing over the truth. Post-moderns hate masks and moderns hardly know how to exist without them. Boomers are so darned driven and so success oriented that what I want to tell you is how great I did at obeying God. Jesus spoke, the Holy Spirit anointed and I immediately responded by giving up what I was supposed to give up and stopping what I needed to stop. I could then follow it with a 3 point teaching on how to walk in obedience, throw in some Greek roots to boot.

Yeah … not the case. Something shifted in my heart, but I still failed.

Hanging out at Immersion is changing me in ways I never expected. And one of those ways is I am learning to be what I have always claimed to value but never truly walked in – being transparent. Transparency is frightening. It is risky. It is uncomfortable. And honestly, transparency in a modern boomer Christian world invites all kinds of mini-sermons and well-meaning but ultimately finger-pointing advice on how not to fail from those to whom you confessed. Boomers have taken Christianity, boiled it down to principles and precepts, and turned it into another project at which we must succeed. New car. Check. Promotion. Check. Obeyed God. Check.

Interestingly enough, the very charge that moderns levy at post-moderns- not believing in absolute truth and the seeming ease of living with sin and without conviction- I am shockingly finding is the very thing that is freeing me to be transparent. In the mix of that I find amazing and breathtaking acceptance.

When I talk about my struggles or (gasp) failures I don’t get raised eyebrows, shocked looks, five ways to fix it or a “come on you can do better” talk. Sometimes I don’t even get a reaction which tempers my self-absorption; like ‘this is not only not a big deal it isn’t a deal at all’. I’m sure it can be argued at length that this is bad. But for me, for right now, it is freedom. Hear me clearly. I am not talking about the liberty to sin but the freedom to be honest about it.

I am learning to sit in my own sinfulness and to be comfortable with it and resist the temptation to hide it, fix it, fudge it or pretend it isn’t there. Like the extra pounds I’ve gained this past year, nothing I put on is going to disguise it and there is no quick fix to get rid of it. I am learning to be at ease with who I am as I am, and it is good.

My logical, linear thinking is starting to make room for the chaos and contradiction of sin and grace. The mask that used to protect is now heavy and suffocating; the image of perfection too exhausting. And if Christianity is all about success, I quit. Because the truth is I am now, always will be and always have been only one thing- a miserable sinner saved by God’s amazing grace. Fatally flawed, passionately loved. How freeing it is to live in the dichotomy of that truth.


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