I was coming from a weekly coffee with one of my best friends, in which I shared about the terrible thing of His silence and learning to accept it, about how I was coming to a place where I was learning to want the good of God more than the goods of this world, how God hadn't owed me an explanation for the years I had spent feeling isolated, made fun of, but that they did somehow make sense, that they had brought me to this fierce place, this sure place, in which I was willing to lose all for the sake of following if, in an upset of the many waters, Holy Ghost rolled across and breathed out, "It's time to go!" And as I walked away, I checked my email ...
If you're unable to read it from the above, I shall reproduce here.
For such a classifying [sic] yourself as such a "Christian" person, you're a real d*** [my censoring] in everyday life. Not at all an example of Christ or His love for humanity. In other words, a hypocrite.
It came like a hammer to my gut. Blood ran down fast into legs and pressed into feet, breath got lost somewhere in my throat and I wanted to run away.
I wasn't going to approve it, because while I tolerate disagreement in the comments, I cannot abide direct cruelty toward anyone, myself included.
But the comment tugged at me, not only in the sense that I am, I admit, incredibly insecure (I spent a portion of the afternoon teetering between justification and anxiety) but also because while I don't think it quite true in the sense meant by the person--for they did not leave a name, so I cannot begin to imagine the particular offense or offenses--I do think there is an absolute truth buried beneath with regard to the work of the writer and the writer as person.
Let me speak it honestly: I am a hypocrite.
I swear on occasion--and pointlessly at that. I struggle with lust. I get jealous easily. I am tempted far too often to lie to make myself feel better about who I am. I can turn a very clever but very evil phrase far too quickly. I expect too much from others and, in turn, don't always give enough myself. And these are but a few examples. So in this, I plainly submit, I am first and foremost among the sinners.
But, I am also called to write.
And I speak this plainly in the same breath, that the reason I write is not because I find myself to be a talent at it or because I think myself intelligent enough to impart some special wisdom.
I write because it is my deep conviction that our Lord, God Almighty, has placed upon me the call that in my fingers are words that must be given, and that they are given not of myself but for His glory and honor.
But this is tricky business.
A writer, a Christian writer especially, is a prophetic voice.
We speak of the things that others do not wish to notice. We hold up the orphan and the widow and demand they be cared for. We fear not the ugly, but go with Christ to it. For this is part of the calling and it cannot be ignored.
But we are hypocrites--for there is none righteous, no, not one.
We neglect the orphan, the widow; we flee the ugly.
We write the Beauty we long to touch; we weave the Truth we cannot fathom; we illumine the Good we struggle knowing.
Yet what's to be done? We are not writing for ourselves, but for you, dear reader. We write because we hope against hope that you shall be better than we are. We see in you a talent, a gift, a calling, and to the point of tears we labor in fervor hoping that you might feel and sense a God that oftentimes feels so far from our reach.
Are you listening? Do you hear the choke in my throat as I whisper this to you?
You are exceptional. You are grace. You are a good creation. I want you to live better because He is better; I want you to live better because if you did, I see the beauty that could overwhelm just by it. More than I could ever make, more than I could ever be. So I long for you, yes you, to be the glory He has called you too.
For I am not. I am a hypocrite. I am trying, I am toiling, but I am failing every day. But would that you knew that even as I failed, I longed and labored that you would not.
But by nature of writing, blogging, putting yourself out into the public eye every single day, people assume that they have an invitation to take a portion of the life they observe and determine the whole. It's a failure to see cosmos, but it is an understandable one, as we all do it.
May I make here an apology to the anonymous commenter, for I have obviously wounded you deeply. For the offense or for the offenses, I am truly sorry, and should you like to at some point discuss them and help me understand how I have wronged you, my literal and cyber door are always open to you.
But as to the point of being like Christ, I cannot provide a satisfactory response. None of us are as like Christ as we should be, myself most of all. This I admit freely, for it is the easiest sort of truth to acknowledge.
I hope you understand the hard place of being a writer, how it is an ache and struggle simply to be let alone to write. I have spent today in prayer, asking our Father that I would be found a much more gracious person to you in the future and that you would find it in the goodness of yourself to forgive me the wrong. Would that you would.
I write this in the quiet place, in the dark hour. It is Advent. More than ever, expecto patronum. (I await a saviour.) And I write this for all of you, friends near and far, who blog, who write, who have submitted to the call to prophecy, and who live in the between place of who we are and like Whom we wish to be.
While I appreciate how many of you would observe this as a time to encourage me in the comments, tell me how wrong this whole thing was, I would ask that you refrain. First of all, I have offended someone and, right or wrong, I am still responsible. Until the situation has been sorted, which may be never, I and no one else has a right to judge anyone in the right. Second, let's keep the comments to the issue of being a writer and, at the same time, not living up to the high demand we place upon ourselves, for our Source is impossibly high.