I’ve been told that it’s pretty neat to read such vulnerable, personal, revealing posts. And, the critic in me, the skeptic, has to wonder just why that is. Is it because we are so accustomed to only seeing the facade? The painted person?
In truth, I’ve been told that the nature of these pieces is making people love me more. Or, at the very least, discover that love for me that may have been hidden deep beneath my intimidating persona and challenging facial expressions. That makes me kind of sad though.
When we meet someone who challenges our belief systems, our status quo of friendship, our personal appearance comforts, we often dismiss them. Not because we are mean or callous (at least most of us aren’t) but because attempting to reach through those barbed wire emotional protectants could prove dangerous.
Jesus talked to the woman at the well. No doubt she had a seedy look. After all, she came in the heat of the day, and alone. Surely her position among the members of her locale was written all over her face. And that’s not even including the fact that Jesus knew everything about her. Then, add in the cultural aspects, and He should have never spoken to a Samaritan woman, and well…the barbed wire didn’t frighten Him. He didn’t shy away from the ugly, the broken, the doubting.
We are all so concerned with our own personal levels of comfort, that we won’t reach out to people who scare us, unnerve us, intimidate us, or make our insecurities sing. Why? Because we are scared they will hurt us. And maybe we have all the reason in the world to be scared, but Jesus tells us we are not of this world.
So, yeah, here I am pouring myself out on a screen, and some of you have never read my stuff before. You have avoided conversations with me because of how intimidating you might deem me to be. But now, now that you feel you have access to my heart, now it seems like it might be “ok” to take that risk and talk to me.
If you’re new here, go look at Invisible. I won’t tell you why I spent many years living and feeling invisible (that will come out in my future book) but, I can tell you that it hurts. It means that people see you and pass right on by. It means that you are the one everyone turns to with their secrets and problems, but then doesn’t remember when it’s time for a party, or a reunion, or lunch after church. It means you don’t matter.
No doubt the woman at the well felt that way. Even though she was coming out to the well in the blazing light of day, she probably felt like no one saw her. But, Jesus did. And He spoke to her. Sometimes that is all that it takes to disarm emotional guards. He disarmed her and she became one of the greatest evangelists that city ever knew.
Ravi Zacharias was on the radio this morning and he said, “You have to feel the Gospel before you can touch anyone.”
I feel the Gospel and I am glad that I am touching some of you with these vulnerable, personal, revealing posts. But, it won’t mean anything if you don’t learn to step out of your comfort zone and through someone else’s alarm system. It might only take a word, and then The Word, will change everything.
Feature image by Josh James (Flickr)