Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday's Confessions-The Knotty Life

Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland. 


Confession: Sometimes I worry about not fitting in. About you not liking me. About you making the wrong assumptions about what I think or believe or feel.  That if you really knew me you may not like me as much. Or that you may like me more. And then I worry about what I should or shouldn't say out-loud, in print, around here.  I worry that I should be bolder, brasher, calmer, happier, more transparent, less transparent. And I worry about worrying about all this.
I get all knotted up thinking about these things.



A while back I got the very best email in the world from Heather at Life Made Lovely.
She emailed and asked me to join her and a few other ladies in a new adventure called Beautifully Rooted. My first reaction was YES! OH MY YES!  I was excited and flattered to be ask.  It was a little like being asked to the cool kid party. I was delighted.

For quite a while I have longed to be on the front end of an online community, to be a contributor, to find a way to share my words and ideas with a broader community outside of this here wee blog. So when Heather asked I jumped at the chance.


But then I started to fret. I started to ponder. The knots started popping out: 
 What I gotten myself into? Who were the other contributors going to be? What kind of gal's were they? What if they don't believe what I believe?  What if they are more conservative than me? What if they venture off in totally directions than I ever would? Sure there is the common thread of faith. The common thread of  Christianity.  But that sometimes is the only thread. The only thin bit holding us together, plunging us into the same category.  The truth is that there are many expressions of our faith, many -often polarizing- theologies, practices, habits, beliefs, and choices within the family that calls itself Christian. There are many fractions and knotty places, many parts that don't always look like  or feel as if they will fit.  Thinking about all this  I couldn't help but wonder about  the gals who I had agreed to take this online and public journey with.  I continued my fretting: What if I don't like them? What if they don't like me? What will my readers think of this step? Will people stop reading my blog because I am a part of this group? Or will people like me more?  Will they think I am different than I am? 


Eventually I had to stop. I had to stop the questions. I had to stop the knots. I had to take a deep breathe and remember that we are all uniquely original, even in our expressions of faith. There are as many ways to find connection to God, to each other and to the world around us as there are stars in the sky.  I believe that if we open ourselves up, if  we take those first steps, if we reach out our hand and open the clenched fist to show what is it is we have been holding onto for fear of rejection, then so often that is when we find the deepest connections. After all, what makes us different is often what brings someone else comfort and relief. The sharing of our stories and our journeys is what can create a lifeline for someone else who thought they were all alone in theirs. Practicing acceptance, love and generosity of spirit does not just apply to those who agree with me, or who are less fortunate than me, or need my help or my advocacy. Practicing acceptance and love and generosity of spirit also means leaning in and listening to those stories I think have nothing to do with me, nothing to teach me, nothing to minister.  Oh the arrogance of my uppity heart.
Practicing love and generosity also means being willing to open myself up to being misunderstood or unfollowed. It means being willing to risk rejection by 100 for the benefit of the 1 who really needed to know they are not alone. 


So I decided that I better join the party, despite all the strangers and different-than-me folks I might meet along the way. I decided to come to the table of faith and community with my dancing shoes on.
I decided to show up with my thoughts, my questions, my ideas, my practices, my unique perspective and slightly odd fashion sense.  And I decided to listen. To read each word written. To soak them in. To try in earnest to take my ego and my opinion and set them aside, and to learn all I could about these gals I have now hitched my wagon to.  To look for the individual beauty in each branch, bud, wisp of moss, &; cluster of lichen. After all, as Martin Luther said: God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
And I would add  in each other.
(As if I could add to Martin Luther!)

So today is the big day. My first post at Beautifully Rooted. My first spin on the dance floor.
I would be so delighted if you would come join the fun- After all the more branches the more blooms!









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4 comments:

  1. simply beautiful words that once again touch my heart. thank you.

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  2. First off I'm absolutely giddy about seeing a ton of my favorite voices in one forum! What a blessing it is that you have been asked.Heather knew what she was doing when she approached you :)

    Second I know this feeling. It's silly that I often wonder if I'm not Christian enough for some people and too Christian for others. But when it really comes down to it I totally love Jesus and that is what is most important.

    :)

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  3. Just read this ~ very exciting! You be you, that's all you can do!

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  4. Jerusalem, you need never worry about your lovableness. You are fabulous. I don't often comment, but only wish you lived in Washington state. Congratulations on your new endeavor. I am praying for you.

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ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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