Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now (Pt. 2)

Courtesy and In Loving Memory of Christina Jones Hooker
You could just feel the lady's sense of shame ooze through the computer screen. Something had happened. Exactly what she did not feel free to say. She needed prayer for a child in crisis. She was eating a big ole plate of humble pie served up cold. Both the crisis and the pie were breaking her heart. You could read it between the lines.

I had not met her before. Our paths crossed because we were both in the same group that had an e-loop. She was crying out to know she had a soft place to fall. She expressed that desire by asking us to pray. In response, I did the un-fraidy cat thing. I sent a private email introducing myself and telling her that I too had a child that was struggling. I doubted I'd ever hear from her.

In fact, I did get a few replies. Know what broke her as much as the crisis that had befallen her family out of nowhere? She was now the recipient of the same kind of judgment she had doled out before her life turned upside down. “How could I have been like that?” she wondered via email. “I thought I had it all together. I thought this kind of thing would never happen to me.” Oh the agony.

Courtesy and In Loving Memory of Christina Jones Hooker
Her sanctimony had risen up to bite her in the seat of her understanding. At least she was humble enough to understand her sin and weep over it. I did what I could to encourage her in the moment. I sometimes wish I'd hear from her again and breathe a prayer that her humility served her well as she looked for answers and direction.

We work so hard at making it look so easy, we Christians. Let me tell you a secret that is gonna get me kicked out of some places. Where 2 or 3 Christians are gathered together, you are gonna find 2 or 3 people who do NOT have their act together. I don't care what kind of shine-ola they fancy up with. Behind our fancy masks, we are wrecks JUST LIKE YOU. Or...we are a wreck waiting to happen just like that sweet, suffering friend I never met.

Oh yea, 2 of the 3 are gonna be real good at putting on a happy face and telling you the world is rosy even when they take off those rose colored glasses. The 3rd one might actually have it all together..for the moment. Just like my friend whom disaster had visited when least expected.

Courtesy A. Squires
Every once in a while, you might meet someone like me. Some of you will run as fast and as far as you can get because the truth is a scary thing. You'd rather keep your mask and your rosy illusions. Others are gonna lean closer because you feel truth resonate to the core of your bones even if it is kinda like looking at a wreck on the highway to think about what I'm saying.

I can admit this truth because it is not nearly as hard as what I did in my 20's. I set out on 'my own' to find a faith of 'my own'. I could no longer blindly follow the faith of my family just because it was ours. That inner voice kept telling me I was looking for something I had not found. As much a traitor to the cause as I felt, I broke my parents' hearts. They made their peace with my choices, but the sting never left, I fear.

You see, they had expected me to do the daughter-ly thing. My mission in life should have been to go to Bible college, meet and marry a preacher-boy, and bring him home to help Daddy run whatever church he happened to be in at the time. I would be one of the musicians, and he would be the Associate. It was a plan I had been groomed for since the 3rd day of my life when I sat in that infant seat on the piano bench of the church.

New Mexico 2001

Hello. Have you met me? I'm the girl who took her tricycle for a spin on a road that accommodated 100MPH+ traffic. Should they not have seen me coming? Or going? By the time I was 12 and turned down my spot on the baptism line-up, I also knew I was not gonna marry no preacher. Forgive the southern speak double negative. I'm a writer. I know better. It just comes out when I'm adamant.

Oh my, fellow fraidy cat. I think that may be about all you and I can handle for tonight. This water is deep. I don't want to go too far too fast for any of our sakes.

For tonight, just know this. If you are on the outside looking in thinking you'll never belong to a family of faith because we all 'have it together' and won't let you in our 'club' because you don't and never will, that voice is lying to you. If you are already a part of this family of faith but feel as if you have to keep your mask on lest someone figure out you don't have your inner act together, someone is lying to you as well. If you are hurting and in crisis and think no one will understand because a crisis like yours doesn't happen to 'good' Christians, don't even get me started! Oh wait, I already am!

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

Welcome home fraidy cat. You see, I've been there, done that, and have the T-shirt to prove it as we say here in the south. Come on in from the cold and sit a spell. Warm yourself. You are safe here. You belong.

John 16:33 (NASB)
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

2 Corinthians 12:10 (NASB)
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


  1. Like, and glad it posted! :) -Liz W.

  2. Well said, Fraidy Lady. One of the most liberating thoughts I ever had is: "I don't have to be right; GOD has to be right."

  3. Awesome truths. We are human, after all. With all the frailties that entails.

  4. thanks, guys. it was such a BATTLE to get this one posted. I actually blew it AWAY at one point. The WHOLE thing -- by accident. I had emailed it to a friend bcz I was so worried about it. Had I NOT emailed it to her, I could have never rewritten it. Then pics wouldn't load. If they did, they wouldn't imbed where I wanted them. I kept thinking, "Satan must REALLY not want me to post this OR God is trying to tell me STOPPPPP and I'm too dumb to know it." So, I appreciate the encouraging feedback I've gotten here, by private emails, and on my f/b wall. I'm breathing a sigh of relief!

  5. Love, love this one! So true. I have had a similar post in mind for my blog, but that was before I decided to delete it. :(

  6. Thank you. I appreciate the affirmation today. I felt folks might relate but just wasn't sure!