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