I am comfortable writing for elementary-aged students because they are gracious, delight in simplicity, and believe anyone who knows when to indent a paragraph is a literary genius. Creating devotional-type blog posts for adults, however, leaves me feeling vulnerable and exposed. Is the theology sound? Will readers like my writing? Am I too personal? Too impersonal? Too cheesy? Too hackneyed? My evil inner twins, Perfection and Pleaser, have broken from captivity distraught; and I sense that the three of me should sit down together and reread Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity. Reread…again.
Yesterday, the insatiable twins were noisily inventorying the exposure levels in my latest post. I was feeling particularly vulnerable when a gently whispered revelation interrupted:
“You don’t have to hang on a cross, naked.”
Ouch. I don’t have to, yet Jesus chose to. He hung dying–bruised, bleeding, and bare in front of family, friends, government officials, religious persecutors, thrill-seekers, and scoffers. I cannot imagine anything that would make me feel more vulnerable or exposed…unless it involved my child. Then I remember. Jesus was a child. God’s child.
God the Father and God the Son offered vulnerability because he loved his sinful neighbor more than he loved himself. “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” His sacrifice produced the joys of forgiven sins, direct relationship, carried sorrows, healed bodies, and everlasting life.
Before composing this post, I never considered being exposed through writing as another way of obeying the second greatest commandment to love my neighbor as myself. But if I offer writing as a figurative “cup of water”and pray it refreshes, enlightens, encourages, or makes my neighbor laugh; it demands vulnerability. Love always does. Despite fears, I will desire God’s direction and traverse the unfamiliar path he is lighting–for the joy awaiting me.
Unlike Jesus, I will foul up. At times my writing will be trite, aloof, disliked, or smell like Vieux Boulogne. Perfection and Pleaser will mock and whisper, “We told you so. You’re too exposed.” But I’ll order the twins back to “solitary,” again, and remind them of my Jesus…hanging naked.
Scripture references: Romans 5:8, John 15:13, Hebrews 12:2b, Mark 12:31, Mark 9:41
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