The other day I was reading the short “About the Author” section of another blogger. I’ve got to be honest; sometimes I like these better than their actual blog because it seems to give a clearer picture of the writer.
In this particular case, the author was expressing her desire to be open and transparent with her readers in each of her posts.
And I loved it because I completely identified. Although, I kind of did the opposite in my own “About the Author” section.
When I decided to start sharing my off-beat musings with literally handfuls of people who happen to stumble upon my blog in the midst of a drunken stupor or while recovering from a debilitating injury wherein the hope of physical activity beyond shifting their eyes side to side has long passed, I committed to the very same thing.
My form of self-deprecating humor is not merely for the sake of a laugh (even though my bride gets a good kick out of it and I love when she laughs), but a genuine attempt to connect with people in a way, which often seems too hard in normal, social situations.
For this reason, I have zero problem addressing the way my voice seems to sound like Barry White is suffering a continual stroke or how my forearms have already been surpassed in muscle – both amount and definition – by my 4-year-old daughter. I embrace the indented nature of my chest and use it as a bowl for food when I am too lazy to tackle the dishes.
More importantly, however, I fight my urge to hold back and remain socially, culturally or spiritually acceptable and try to be clear with how I struggle and fail to live up to the image I attempt to portray in my daily encounters with others.
I realize if I am not open about my past issues with lust and pornography, my ongoing problems with trust in, acceptance of and grace for others and my lifelong struggles with pride and impatience, I will be misrepresenting the very aspects Jesus is faithfully loving me through.
And while keeping my posts vague and leaving out some of the dirty details might seem like a safer route (and cause less cringe-inducing moments for my family), ultimately, it will keep me from experiencing a true relationship with anyone.
Hiding my past or compartmentalizing my present to maintain a sense of “normalcy” in our interactions is only another method for me to push others away from true connections with me. It may appear like things are less messy and the façade will keep complication from spreading to every one of my relationships, but the end result is going to be loneliness in a sea of casual acquaintances.
Seriously, normal is boring.
I don’t want to hear about how “great” everything is with someone’s prayer life, work situation or marriage.
I want to know they struggle with the same issues as me so we can truly relate and connect in the presence of a Savior who meets us where we are and sacrificed His own life fully aware of how messed up we would be.
Sure, the occasional reader will stop me at a church function, family dinner or shopping excursion and express their displeasure at my all-too-occasional references to farts, cursing and general failures of pretty much every kind, but I can take it. Because somewhere deep down (or possibly just below the surface) is another forgiven sinner who struggles too and they can always know there is someone out there who can identify and empathize.