I really admire the way some people talk about honesty and vulnerability as though it is the easiest thing in the world. It is truly admirable. “Just say it”, they say, not realizing the mental and physical difficulties involved in “just saying”. And I think, Why don’t you just say it if it’s so easy? I, for one, have a bit of a difficulty being honest many times. Now, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean I go about lying to people or cowering in fear when I need to speak. It just means that important moments that require that painful (yet freeing) kind of honesty leave me wildly ruffled and frightened.
Now, for example, every time I have to write a blog post, I think about it so hard one would wonder if this was really a decision about world peace and not a blog post. I go over my sentences word by word, analysing and wondering if I shouldn’t change this expression or delete that joke. I wonder if I am funny enough or if I sound sophisticated enough. I mean, there are lots of other bloggers and writers who do this probably even better than I do and reach even more people than I do. What is the point?
My thoughts jam at this question: WHAT IS THE POINT?
The answer began to come together for me in bits and pieces. One word here. A memory there. A picture from Pinterest. A comment on an article of mine. And little by little, I began to see the point.
I began to see that my honesty could cost someone something precious. I don’t just need to be honest; I am needed for my honesty. My gift will thrive in honesty and openness; when I am able to bring out words as they should be because they will answer the questions in the heart of another. The world will be a better place by degrees when I am honest. I don’t mean just to say what I think people imagine is the truth they want, but to say those things that God would use me to say. True, I was worried that I had nothing new to say. After all, there have been so many writers before me, more eloquent and graceful; faithful and accurate communicators. Why me? And then I realized that it may have truly all been said, but never by me. And there are people waiting who will only ever respond to the words that come out of my mouth. How do I know this?
I was listening to an audio message and heard this pastor talk about a little research he did. Thinking about the phrase “one in a million”, he did a bit of Googling and realized that if each of us is truly one in a million, then at least 7,000 other people in this world get you – because there are approximately 7 billion people in this world…on this earth. Is that amazing or what? So I got thinking that if I am one in a million (and duh!), then there are 7,000 people scattered all over the world who will a) get me, b) get what I’m about, and/or c) be affected by something I do or say. This knowledge is infinitely comforting and encouraging because I can go about doing the things I know and love to do and not be choked by pressure to be someone I’m not or fear of failure because I know that there is someone (multiply that by 7,000) who is bound to be blessed, impacted, affected, made happy or changed by an ordinary act of mine.
I don’t know about you, but it even makes me feel a lot better about my otherwise ordinary existence. I now walk with the sense that I CAN DO THIS, and it gives me such hope and confidence! I am not afraid to be my regular self any longer because I am learning what is packed on my inside and I know that if I can just bring it out for the sun to shine upon it, the reflection will hit someone else in the eyes and bless their life as well. The thought that I can be used to cause someone’s “Road to Damascus” encounter in a most normal but deeply significant way just blows me away. And that’s one reason I desire honesty – to use my extraordinary gift in the most spectacularly ordinary way.
It would surprise you to know that I only recently acknowledged this gift in me. Many others have done so before now, and more will do so in time to come. However, the acknowledgment that counts most is that of the gifted about his gift (Philemon 1:6). With this acknowledgment has come the desire to brave the fright and be truly honest. To speak about the wildness of life and love when God is in it. To tell about the darkness that plagues a soul unable to see Him. To tell of the greatness that is divine love and its effect on the human heart. To pour out and share with you times that will change your mind, your perception, your vision and if I dare it, your future.
So now I’m not just praying for the courage to be honest; I am standing up in the boat to put my feet out there on the water, in the storm. It’s exhilarating. It’s me, Ele! I’m actually doing this! My heart is beating wildly. I know I will make a few honest mistakes, but at least I won’t do it hiding. I anticipate the journey, the pain, the joy, the satisfaction, the victory that is to be found in letting go.
(Oh, and have you noticed how much I’m using the word “wild”? Gets me WILDLY excited. Haha!)