For some reason, people think that I might have something worthwhile to say to people? Funny, very funny. I’m not sure how “intellectual” these blogs are going to be, friends near and afar. More likely, I’ll write much in a narrative form – I’ve been told by intellectuals and, well, non-intellectuals, that I’m a narrative writer (people have been saying this for years). Actually, my favorite comment ever was: “you write as though I’m sitting in front of you” – so imagine that scary face to the left talking to you – don’t worry, the earrings are gone, and my hair is tamed – a little.
It’s only quarter number two for me; barely 4 months have been lived in California. Growing up in Pennsylvania for 22 years, and living in Indianapolis for the last 2 years, it’s been a bit of an adjustment. Don’t tell a lot of people though: I like to play it off as a calm, cool and collected individual. (Yes, I realize this is posted on the WWW of my current institution, but what students visit their current school’s admissions page? Exactly!) I could say the adjustment has just been to the weather (which is certainly the truth – what’s up with 75 degrees in January!?), or even just the clothing change (um, i like winter jackets, I miss it! And scarves!)
But truth be told, the adjustment is two-fold. I’ve left a community I love, direly, twice now. First college, now the church in Indy. I miss the constant community, the friends, the laughter, and, frankly, everything. I don’t miss the politics, but welcome to life – it’s here too. The second adjustment isn’t so much to something I miss, but something I wish just didn’t exist that I’m being forced to accept: loneliness. See, I know and trust so dearly and truthfully that G-d is passionately working in me and grasping me so tightly when I cry or hurt. But sometimes, when you’re around all these people, the truth comes out. I don’t always turn back to G-d. He’s sitting there waiting, probably checking the watch often.
See, I’m around people everywhere – loads of people know my name, know tiny snippets of who I am. But they don’t know the deep parts of my soul – and I really had this dream-world in mind where I’d walk into seminary and everyone would want to really know everyone else. Really, I’ve come to reconcile lately that everyone’s just like me, whether they’re 60, 22 or 30 years old; whether they’re married or single. We’re all lonely, it just manifests itself differently. So we play games, and we hurt, but we don’t often tell the community (whatever it may be) what’s actually wrong: vulnerability is scary and difficult. Seminary is just like the church, really. And that, breaks my heart. It shouldn’t, but it does – I guess utopia really is a dream world (how ironic).
So this adjustment, this challenge I’m currently facing, I refuse to hide. I refuse to hide from the world or from Fuller that I want to be real and I want others around me to be real. I do not want to be afraid to not be like, or to not be accepted by everyone. What I do want, however, it to start on a path of love and transparency with my community and my friends. I want to be real, I want to be a follower of a G-d who so eagerly pursues me that that pursuit is equal. I want to fall back in love with my Savior in a way that leaves me not hurting when I’m lonely, but trusting that that loneliness may just be another opportunity for transparency and trust with G-d and my friends. We’re students planning of serving G-d and the body of Christ and this broken world, but it’s time the church (and seminary) not be afraid to show our faces, and really, show ourselves to one another. Humility isn’t so fun with only half the crowd.
I feel a little like Jerry Maguire right now – don’t worry, I don’t think I’ll be heading to Kinkos any time soon. Welcome to my adjustment. And welcome to the transparent life.