I distract myself when it hurts. Never one to enjoy “the feels,” I do what I can to regulate my emotions via outside sources, instead of, well, feeling them. Nature, nurture, whatever. Doesn’t matter. It’s part of my programming, one that antidepressants and therapy assist in changing. Maybe someday I’ll get there.
Kate says: complete.
I deleted all of the posts on my personal Facebook page. Am contemplating doing the same over on Twitter. I keep telling myself that it’s because I want a fresh start. I want to wipe everything clean and begin again. And that is true. But not all true. And not a good truth.
Fear has surrounded me, you see. A nice, complete circle. No beginning, no end.
Don’t post that.
Don’t write that.
Don’t say that.
Don’t share that.
So if I delete everything, then nobody will know. So-called conservatives can’t get mad at me because I think monuments to the Confederacy belong in museums, that journalists are not your enemies, and that Donald Trump is not a good president. So-called liberals can’t get mad at me because I believe in the literal resurrection of Christ, that marriage as ordained by God is restricted to one man and one woman, and that Scripture is reliable and accurate. And nobody, on any side of anything, can get mad at me for my “Yes, I preach the Gospel but I also live and let live and work hard to love people whoever and whatever they are because I’m really not into ‘Christianizing’ anything” approach. (By the way, the labels “conservative” and “liberal” have just about lost all meaning. Let’s retire them).
Because I’m tired.
Tired of people being mad at me.
And THAT makes me mad.
So I place my figurative foot on this figurative soapbox and stand, knees knocking, toes trembling, hands sweaty. I look at the circle, the one that grows tighter with each passing day. I let my head fall back and I roar:
PEOPLE. DO. NOT. HAVE. TO. AGREE. WITH. YOU. IN. ORDER. FOR. YOU. TO. BE. KIND.
ECHO. CHAMBERS. ARE. BAD.
LEARN. TO. LISTEN. TO. OPPOSING. VIEWS.
GOSSIP. IS. EVIL. STOP. IT. GROW. UP.
IF. YOU. DON’T. LIKE. WHAT. I. WRITE. THEN. DON’T. READ.
OR. IF. YOU. WANT. TO. FOLLOW, BUT. DON’T. LIKE. WHAT. I. WRITE, THEN. MAKE. A. COMPELLING. FACTUAL. SCRIPTURAL. COUNTERARGUMENT. (NO. EMOTIONAL. APPEALS. AND. RAGING. DO. NOT. COUNT).
JESUS. IS. NOT. A. REPUBLICAN.
JESUS. IS. NOT. A. DEMOCRAT.
I want to wipe the slate clean because I want to hide. Just the other day I told my husband, “I want to go unnoticed.” And that, dear reader, is just as wrong as wanting all the attention all the time. Pushing people aside to take center stage, whatever the cost, is the lie of pride. Running away, never taking a stand, is the lie of fear.
The circle morphs into a lasso and yanks me off of the box, beating me into the ground, punch after punch, until I hardly know which way is up. I’m laying there, sweat and blood pooling in the dust, and the heat rises in my chest. Damn it. Who is anyone to tell me that I cannot speak freely when they themselves exercise that freedom? Who is anyone to tell me to stop telling the truth, to stop drawing us back to Scripture, to what God says? Who died and made anyone the social media, blogging, internet, even thought king?
My eyes look past the complete circle, to the place where freedom reigns.
I’m not there yet.
But I will be.
15 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Complete”
Visiting as your FMF neighbor. I hear you. There are times when you/we question why you/we put your/our words out there. The criticism stings. The hurt is real. But your/our words are important. They reflect impulses ordained by our Father. They are His words, translated by you/us because you/we believe in Him and His message. Don’t let anyone — friend or foe, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat — take that gift away.
Thank you for this encouragement. I have definitely been weary. Your words grant me a boost.
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Marie, I love the visceral honesty of this post; truly a witness to the dark and angry days in which we now live.
Over on my Facebook page Lynette commented “spit those words!” And it did feel a bit like spitting as I wrote them.
Praying that you won’t let the fear silence you! Your words matter! And I agree, people need to get better at disagreeing with one another reasonably and discussing different points of view without it turning into an attack.
“…without it turning into an attack.”
My husband and I were discussing this very thing the other night. We were wondering if it’s always been this way, if humans in general lack the ability to disagree well, or if it’s worse now, with the megaphone of social media. Neither of us had an answer.
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I’m saddened that you might let fear stop you from doing what you do so well – express what’s on your mind. Do I always agree? No, however I’m “wise enough” to listen (in this case, read) what you believe because in everything we say, there is a “grain of truth” to it. Yes, criticism stings and the hurt is real but it’s important to get past all of that to delve into what IS real/true today. There is too much mud slinging, people bashing going on and it tends to “drown out” what it true/honest and we lose a teachable moment in communicating with one another. Love you bunches! Keep writing what you believe and give the opportunity for me (and I can only speak for myself) to have a “teachable” moment!
I want to learn from others. I know I don’t know everything. I think it’s good to develop the ability to listen to those with whom we don’t always agree. Because we’re all human, and therefore have the same basic needs (ultimately, the need for Jesus), I really believe that we have a lot more in common than we think sometimes.
Dear Marie, I am praying God’s healing and comfort for your wounds and His provision for everything you need to fulfill your calling because, yes, your writing is a calling. Hugs.
I asked Him to give me an affirmation that I am meant to be doing this. I believe that the Holy Spirit used you in that. Thank you, dear sister.
I have been offline and I missed all the drama… BUT… I will just say that I love you and man, one of the most vital and important things that we need to preach (besides Jesus!) is how to just be kind to one another… whether we ‘agree’ or not! (Also: Mean people suck and as much as it’s current and hip to talk about anti-bullying… dude! There is SO MUCH BULLYING going on everywhere if you disagree! This should not be!
I understand the desire to start over and to wipe the slate clean… I do. I also understand that it’s gonna take people who have every ‘right’ to fight back publicly, who don’t… publicly, to show there is a better way!
Amen, sister. Amen.
Oh friend, I’ve been there too. But you’re right we don’t have to agree, just be nice to each other and listen. Yet that’s hard to do in the echo chamber of this world, isn’t it?
Powerful, Marie! You are so right, we don’t have to agree to be kind!. Have you heard Candace Cameron Bure’s book title? Kind is the new classy. I’d love to see that motto become a thing on social media!