I want to thank everyone who read my posts last week. I am especially thankful for those who offered words of encouragement or gentle disagreement. It has taken me a long time to be honest about my beliefs, and I know I’m not alone in this. There will always be a few people who seem fearless with their opinions, but the rest of us tend to be wary of opening ourselves up to criticism. I prefer to put on my Facebook Face, and show the world a recipe for organic kale chips (even though we’ve eaten pizza three times this week), and a picture of the kids taken at an artistic angle (because that’s the only point of view where you can’t see the piles of unfolded laundry.)
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with putting your best foot forward, but I believe that we have at least as much to offer each other in our questions, weaknesses and mistakes as we do in our convictions, strengths and accomplishments. I can’t count the number of times that a friend’s embarrassed “confession” was followed by a relieved chorus of, “Me too!” We live in fear that someday, someone will discover us at our worst. It lightens the load and gives us a sense of belonging to know that other people share our struggle.
Maybe that’s also why it’s so hard to have loving dialogue in churches. When we go to church in our Sunday best, we tend to leave our brokenness at home. And if we’re afraid to be broken together, it’s hard to feel like we belong together. I know that the Mennonite Church might never agree on homosexuality, but your comments have proven that we can learn to disagree lovingly. Thank you for accepting my brokenness and giving me a place to belong.
N: “Mom, can I have a carrot cake and a piñata for my next birthday?”
Me: “Okay, but you’ll have to remind me when it’s closer to your next birthday.”
N: “Is it closer to my birthday now?”