The past several months I've been listening and reading about everyone struggling and coming to terms with things God has been nudging them about. Personal issues they feel it is time to tackle, to open up and expose to God and begin a healing process. I have been trying to find my own, jealous of these nudges everyone else seems to be getting, direction and insight into how to start to right their lives and their hearts. It has been recently that I have realized that this is the process to begin the healing, that I need to watch other people go through it to begin to unravel my own. The more I started to think about these things the more I became overwhelmed. Overwhelmed because I'm realizing there is so much to do, so much to tackle and so much to dig up. I just don't know where to start, and then it came to me.
My favorite phrase in the last year or so is "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones" it's a very true to the word phrase and I've used it in it's proper context and at appropriate moments, but it wasn't until the last week or so that I started to pay attention to my own actions and realize now that I live in the biggest and most grand house of glass that I have ever seen. Once I realized how much glass makes up this house I started to look around and see just how many stones I have thrown and just how much shattered glass there is to clean up. I can see now just how many windows of my own I've broken while throwing these stones. I'm left in this house of shattered glass, shards everywhere ready to rip me open and expose everything to God. I've been standing here for far to long waiting for someone to pull me out of this mess, to save me from the pain and agony that I am about to partake in.
Each step I take will be more painful than the last, each shard representing something else in my life I need to reevaluate and question how I'm serving God with these parts of my life. I've been searching for the bigger picture, thinking I was on the top of the hill looking down on the rest of the christians in the world, thinking I had nothing to tackle, that I had been following God my whole life and I had nothing to work on to get closer to him, but in thinking about this more and more I'm realizing it's not that sturdy castle of Christ on the top of the hill that I've been living in, it's the once beautiful house of glass that I was living in, never looking up to realize I was not there yet. But now, now that I have blown the roof off this broken shattered house I created in my own slinging of stones, now I can finally see I have not yet completed this journey, that there are millions of people watching me in my house of glass, waiting for me to join them on this journey, waiting for me to walk through these shards of habits, memories and thoughts to get through it and join them on the journey, the rest of the way up the hill.
My one thought that keeps me going in all of this is that my house, my house of shattered ideas of who I was, was built on nothing less than Jesus' love and rightousness. I may have been diverted for many years, but I'm going to get there, with his help.
I'm worried because of all the painful scars of the past. All the groups that I've been a part of that tried to tell me who I am, the music I listen to, the comedy and movies I enjoy all must go, that everything I am, and everything I enjoy is evil, it is these people who helped me dig the moat around my house, protecting me from them. I'm scared that I will lose myself in this process, there are certainly things in my life that need cleaned out and there are really things I do need to rid myself of, but I'm afraid of the judging, the judging that has held me back all these years, the judging I have let hold me back for all these years. How do I get past these scars?
I always find myself holding out on communities that are reaching out to me. I'm always holding something back, I used to say it was just because I was gay and that was the reason, that no one could be in a community with me because I was gay, but I realized today that I have been using that as just one of the reasons I tend to shy away from communities. There are so many other reasons, how do I get over them to be embraced by a community? I was there today serving, watching what a small simple gift can do to the spirit of another soul, and I shared that with these people who try so hard to open their community to me, to let me in and be a part of it, if even for a short time each trip I make, and I found myself pushing away. Why is that?
I still have a way to go to figure this out. I am shy, no matter how hard that can be to believe, I am very shy. There were many passages in Blue Like Jazz that told me how to deal with the answers as to why I am shy. The hurtful things I usually say about myself in answers as to why I'm shy. How I don't think I have anything valuable to say, how I don't feel I'm good enough to join these people, how no one would want to be in a community with someone like me. Someone who is so fat, someone who is so awkward looking, someone who doesn't like to tuck in their shirt, someone who smokes, someone who doesn't find raunchy humor offensive, someone who looks at porn, someone who sometimes judges people based on looks, someone who checks out guys at church, someone who resents young families for reasons unknown, someone who will be 32 and still single, someone who has never had a kid and doesn't even posses the urge to want any, someone who is afraid to talk to new people, someone who hardly ever has answers to nearly any question given because he's afraid of being proven wrong, someone who puts himself on a pedestal when in all actuality it's just a defense mechanism. I'm afraid of people seeing me for who I really am.
Another thing to come out of the sermon today was the idea to back off the pressure. That the journey to being closer to God is very personal and not everyone goes about the same path. Each person finds comfort in different ways and that there is nothing wrong with it. I know in my heart the church that has awoken these things inside of me will probably not be my final destination, that even after all this has been sorted out I may still not find the community that I'm comfortable in there, but it sure seems to be a good starting point. And who knows, I'm wrong a lot, I could be wrong about that as well.
I just need to open my heart and my mind a little more and breath deep and keep going on my own journey.