Dirty showers and late night ponderings

It’s late and I’m wondering how transparent Christians really want other Christians to be?

Do you want to hear that your youth pastor has struggled with lust toward his fiancee? Do you want to know that your pastor has struggled with pride throughout his ministry? And do you want to know that your worship leader’s family has a daughter with an eating disorder and a son who is struggling with feelings of suicide and depression?

Would you still love them?

Do you want to know that the lady in the pew next to you has harbored a secret that she fears will alienate everyone in the church? Do you want to hear the inner dialogue of the beautiful lady who sits behind you every Sunday? Do you want to hear her call herself fat, ugly and unworthy? Do you want to know that everytime the new couple at church walks through the front doors, they feel like frauds? Do you want to know why they feel that way?

And if you knew all that stuff – would you still love them?

Do you want to know that the man on the front row was molested by his uncle at the age of 10? Do you want to know that he has struggled in the sexual areas of his life since then? Do you want to know that the older couple who sit at the back of the church have never felt connected to anyone there – even though they are on every single committee your church has to offer? Do you want to know that the lady who hands out the bulletins feels invisible to everyone else, even though she knows God loves her?

Do you want to know? 

Do you want others to know what YOU are dealing with? What if everyone around us knew everything we struggle with? What if our inner lives were broadcast to the world on a daily basis?

I don’t know what your answers are. But I can’t lie…I don’t want everyone knowing everything all the time. When I’m feeling brave, there are days I’m all for it. And others days, well… no.

I don’t want everyone knowing I yell at my kids sometimes. I don’t want everyone knowing that I can be jealous, petty and mean. I don’t want everyone knowing that I don’t always smile and nod when others are rude to me. I don’t want folks knowing that I can verbally “bite back”…and often times do.

And on a more practical note, I don’t want everyone knowing that I fail to clean my shower on a regular basis. I don’t want them knowing that I have to clean a yucky stuff I don’t want to call mold or mildew…but that is indeed just that. 

So when folks come to visit before cleaning day, It helps that I have really cool shower curtains that no one can see through.

But what happens when I forget to close the curtain?  

I recently read a blog by a missionary in Costa Rica who calls herself and her blog, “The Very Worst Missionary”. And as I read her blog, I was shocked…and yet wowed by her candor and transparency. I immediately wanted to share the blog with others, but knew in my deepest of knowers that many folks would be offended by her subject matter, her speech and well, just by her.

She doesn’t hold back. She shares the good, the bad and the really, really, uglier-than-ugly moments of her life as a missionary in Costa Rica. She doesn’t use pretty words. Matter of fact, she sometimes uses words that most folks would never say in the presence of their pastor – but they might if they drop a gallon of milk on their toes. She uses phrases that we might use with our closest friends in a fit of laughter…but not at church on Sunday morning. She doesn’t speak “christian-eze”. Quite honestly, I’m not even sure she knows any.

IN other words, her life can be moldy and full of mildew…and I don’t think the woman owns a shower curtain.

And right now, knowing that makes me like her even more.

I’m not going to pretend that I can agree with every word of every post I’ve read thus far. But I won’t pretend that I disagree with every word, either. And ya know? I think she’d be cool with that. I don’t have to agree 100% with someone to recognize that we are still part of the same body.

I don’t have to be bosom-buddies with everyone I go to church with or who call themselves a follower of Christ. Truthfully, I have never read in the Bible where it says I have to like everyone. I know I need to live at peace with them if at all possible – but that does NOT translate into “liking” them.  

I do, however, have to to love them. And guess what? They have to love me, too.

So… are we loving each other – moldy showers and all? or do we only love each other as long as the curtain is closed and we don’t have to know what lurks behind it?

If you are feeling adventurous, here’s a link to one of her posts. Just remember, I warned ya. http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com/2011/05/turf-wars.html

p.s. I don’t think Jesus is offended by our life’s mold and mildew. He loves us, knowing it ALL. Isn’t that why He went to the Cross? I can’t help but think of the old jingle:

Mr. Clean gets rid of dirt and grime
And grease in just a minute
Mr. Clean will clean your whole house
And everything that’s in it
Mr. Clean … Mr. Clean … Mr. Clean
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16 thoughts on “Dirty showers and late night ponderings

  1. There are times in my life I where I’m guilty of the overshare and then other times when I hide my drama more than I should. It’s a struggle to know how much to lay out there.

    I have a Bible study I’ve been going to for almost nine years. Those women have seen my struggles and loved me through them. I’ve done the same for them. We are a family.

    It’s tougher to do that with a whole church. We struggle to get there on time, try to keep our kids from giggling too loud during the prayers, and then zip home to get lunch on the table. It’s more of a wonder when visitors DO connect to members. But they would if we “left the curtains open” more often. They would see that we’re there because we are all in need of a savior.

    Great reminder, Donna. : )

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    1. Having folks we love and who love us through thick and thin, good stuff and sin…is a blessing indeed. If we all opened up more, it might be more effective in seeing the grace God offers us on a daily basis.

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  2. These was very thought provoking. JOyce told me to read it and I just forwarded it to one of my daughters; am struggling with the lack of faith in two others. But is it because I’m afraid to pull aside the shower curtian? Good question. Thanks for the costa rican missionary post too. How can anyone stop us from living out the gospel?

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  3. Being transparent can be very scary. I know. It only took me about 45 years to learn the peace that comes with living transparently.

    Not sure that I dig Jamie the missionary’s approach to transparency. But I respect her courage.

    Thanks for this timely reminder, Donna, to live and love transparently.

    Shower curtain or not.

    Jean

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  4. Dear Donna,
    At times it’s difficult not to judge someonelse. I think of judging others as being a boomerang that might just turn the corner and head back to me. The thing is sometimes it’s difficult to accept ourselves as we are. Once we can accept that we’re okay, we can more easily accept others as okay, too. God loves us…mildew and all. Thank you for posting this, Donna. You’re a jewel. Don’t ever forget that.
    Joan Y. Edwards
    http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com

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  5. I hope I’d love everyone, even knowing their private struggles. Since I have some of my own, it helps me feel compassionate towards others and their hidden struggles. Am so thankful that we can keep some things private, between us and the Father…

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    1. Amen to that, Cheryl! There are plenty of things I do not want to broadcast to the world. But I am glad to know I loved even if things aren’t always pretty!

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