Friday, May 27, 2011

The Passion of My Heart

I have debated whether or not to ever write a post like this. But it's been tumbling about in my head for ages and I think perhaps it will be good to just put it out into a tangible form where I can see it.

I disagree with everyone. To some degree, always. Mostly it's healthy. If I ever agreed totally with anyone, I suppose I would be a might concerned I had lost my ability to think, consider, and examine.

The way my mind works is sometimes exhausting and even, at times, quite a bother when I find myself trying to explain my thinkings, musings, or passions to someone who hasn't known me intimately for many many years.

Even as I write this, I am aware of the indulgence and possible narcissism of self disclosure and yet hope that it will be worthwhile to myself and others in some way. So I forge onward.

I have a lot of thoughts about many a subject. I can argue and counter argue all day long all inside my head about a multitude of things. Sometimes I find that I agree wholeheartedly with both the argument and the counter argument.

Because in a very complex way sometimes things contradict each other on a surface level, and yet in the deep recesses of it, they don't.

I verbally process. My thoughts and feelings come out (in whole or in part) rather frequently, despite any desire I have to keep it all to myself. I feel like Brian Regan when he said, in reaction to his own standard verbal blunderings, "Oh no! Words are comin' out! Oh no!"

I fail at glossing over, fudging, and being vague. Especially when questioned point blank.

Not to say I'm incapable of these things, but at the very least it is far from my natural inclination.

My desire to be authentic typically trumps any hope I had of remaining stoic or (at the very least) maintaining any sort of an air of ambivalence.

This is troublesome at times because I have found that I can be terribly controversial.

As it turns out, being controversial with feelings as big as mine can be a bit off putting. I have seen it in the faces of people I absolutely cherish.  I also feel it (their antsy-ness/discomfort/possible irritation) as if it were my own when my passionate feelings and interpretations of things oppose theirs.

Empathetic to my core, I also find it hard to believe (however illogically) that everyone isn't always sensing my true feelings about things just as much as I am sensing theirs.

This makes it even harder for me to sit quietly - the feeling that everyone already knows how I'm feeling, so I might as well just spit it out. In turn it also makes it harder to speak - knowing that I'm probably about to make everyone awkward, explain my concept poorly, and basically just throw a wrench into the whole conversation.

Here I feel a need to back up and clarify that when I suggest that I believe I will explain my concept poorly, I don't meant that in a self-depreciating way. I mean to say simply that when I am about to try to put a concept out there, I am suddenly thinking about it in a very global way. Everything I believe about it as it relates to Scripture, creation, my day, my friend's day, the past, the future, and everything else down to the way crickets chirp at night.

Suddenly I have no words. I am stuck. All the old stuff from my brain is mixing with all the new input from the people around me, their emotional state, their arguments, and on and on.

I stumble. I put my foot in my mouth. I say things that I mean for the moment I am saying them, and then re-evaluate and realize I don't mean that exactly anymore. I have to try again.

I worry that my friends might think I am judging them when I disagree with them. But it isn't true. I am not judging. I am well and fully aware that everything is what it is, and we're all just trying to figure it out.

And here, I will add one of the most exasperating things of all. How it feels when someone tries to talk me out of one of my passions.

Just the fact that someone thinks they can change my mind about a well developed passion is exhausting to me. They are unaware of all the evaluating, re-evaluating, and processing it took for me to get so firm in this belief. Especially if it is something I previously didn't believe/know.

Yes, I do realize how this must sound. Closed minded. Oppositional. Unwilling to be challenged.

I want to throw up my hands. Like a five year old, "Nuh uh!"

I relish a challenge.

But, I also believe it is healthy and okay to know when it's time to close the book on something. Yellow is yellow. Please don't try to convince me that it is blue. I used to think yellow was blue. But then after an in depth study of color theory, I realized that it is yellow. I am finished with making that assessment, and am now looking into the origins of yellow, the future of yellow, and what shades of yellow sunflowers are made of.

And oh, if only it were that simple.

But it's not.

Because the issues are about humanity. Ever complex, and ever transforming.

I do not want to argue over theology.  I just want to find a church that believes like I do about issues that make me sweaty and shaky when I hear the opposing viewpoint.

Most people don't understand what I'm so worked up over. Can't I just hear out the other side? Just because they make an argument for it doesn't mean I have to put it into practice.

Logically, yes. But emotionally, it is like listening to someone arguing for why it would be fine for me to eat my dog.

Koreans eat dogs, and that's fine. It's cultural. But just because a perfectly logical argument can be made for it, doesn't mean that it wouldn't make me all high pitched and squeaky if I tried to explain why I do not, and will not ever want to eat my dog. I do not believe that I am closed minded for being unswayable in my conviction that my dog should remain my pet and not my dinner.

This is how I feel about punitive parenting being preached from the pulpit as if it were Biblically mandated.

This is how I feel when I hear Pastors proof texting for the idea that wife only submission is Scriptural.

This is how I feel about the conversation of women's role in the church, as if spiritual gifts come in pink and blue.

I love my friends who disagree with me. With my whole heart, and fiercely. Just as I know that they love me when I disagree with them. And I don't want their passions to feel trampled either, or to be someone who is exhausting for them to have around.

And I am grateful beyond all thankfulness for those steadfast and precious people in my life who have heard me out, let me stumble and stammer and try again, and understood the resolute nature of my heart, accepting me in all my complexity, perseveration, and angst.

To be patiently understood against all odds - to be known - by my family in Christ, has been one of God's sweetest gifts to me in this lifetime.

I have a feeling it's a taste of what Heaven is like.

Now if Joseph and I can find a church in our community that has in all it's congregation and pastorship, what these precious people have in one pinky finger, I will ecstatically pee my pants.