Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Honesty is difficult and humbling. We think of this mainly in regards to the fact that we have to actually share the facts as they are, no matter how nasty they seem to us. The humbling part is admitting the struggle, in choosing to tell it like it is, right?

Yep, that's humbling stuff. It takes a lot of intentional practice for it to seem less daunting, and even then it is never quite easy. Still, passing on the dirty details, though it still leaves me trembling for a little while, doesn't faze me the way it once did. What I am finding to be the difficult and hugely humbling part of honesty right now is not admitting the facts- it's admitting how incredibly long the struggle and grief can take sometimes. It is having someone ask how I am doing and choosing to say, "I'm having a hard time" for what feels like the bazillionth time. It is choosing to admit that I am STILL struggling, STILL hurting, even though I feel like I sound like a broken record. It's a lot like how I felt during my almost three years of being intensely sick on seizure medications- there is a point where you are feeling ill for like the 500th day in row, and you are pretty sure no one wants to hear it anymore. It seems that your options have been narrowed to either being lonely or feeling annoying, and it's tough to decide which is the lesser evil.

I took a class last spring called "grief and loss, death and dying". One of the things we talked about is how our culture has placed a kind of unspoken quota on grief; we set up a timetable of sorts, and at the end we draw the line of "shouldn't you be over that by now?" Unfortunately, this is like many cultural norms for me; no matter how much I tell myself that it's not true, I still feel it- I still feel that unspoken quota breathing down my neck and whispering in my ear, "Sorry, time's up.".

I guess there will always be new strides to take in learning to live an authentic life. Step one: talking about the hard stuff with complete, naked honesty. Step two: choosing to stay in that place of nakedness, even when there is a chill in the air, and even when the enemy tells me that he's pretty sure people are wishing I'd put my clothes back on. Can't you see him there, offering us some knock-off attire, some counterfeit garments (humanity's hand-me-downs) to clothe ourselves with?

Thanks but no thanks, Satan. It's true that I'm sick of this. But I heard something about a white robe of righteousness made by a kingly tailor, and I'm gonna hold out for that one no matter how long it takes.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Sister, your honesty is one of the things I admire most about you. It's difficult to abstain from merely saying "good" when someone asks how you're doing. Yet, you tell the truth.
And at the same time, like Colossians 3:12 says: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."