10/29/13

afraid of my own honesty




Intimacy is not a style of music. It is not simply what happens when the lights are low or the music is soft. Intimacy is the posture of one heart toward another. Intimacy chooses the path of self-disclosure above self-protection, vulnerability above guardedness, unhindered and expressed emotion rather than silenced feeling. God has approached you today with this kind of intimacy, once again yielding Himself to the vulnerability that comes with love. Choose intimacy as your response today. - Dan Wilt

My eyes looked down at my hands cupping coffee, those tiny, clenched fist of hands that are mad at the world and bitter at so many and take much more than they give. My eyes look down because they are scared to look up. Up at her face and see her eyes searching for an answer to the question that was just asked. The question that wrecked the comfort zone we had just minutes before. The question that sent an arrow threw the superficial conversation I wanted to have because today had been rough and this year had been rougher and sometimes you just want to get through the day so you can climb into the bed at the end of it.

"Do you believe God likes you, Savannah?"

How can this question ruin me when I had been singing Jesus Loves Me since those nursery days at church? How can this question leave me speechless when I have heard so much of his love, so much of his fatherhood, so much of his grace?

I wanted to go back to the conversations full of nothing because those were easier, simpler, less challenging. I wanted to go back to where I could hide in the corner and say nothing, do nothing and be far from the spotlight because here is the truth: I am struggling. Struggling to get out of bed in the morning, struggling to leave the house without fear, struggling to speak among friends, struggling to look in the mirror and be okay with the reflection. And I don't want to talk about these struggles.

Because maybe if I don't talk about them they will hide away in the pockets of my heart and as long as I don't bring them up and others don't bring them up they can stay in those pockets and it is at my own choosing that they are revealed.

But now she is asking me if I believe God likes me and the stitching of the pocket breaks and a whole flood of fear and insecurity and anxiety and hell break forth and does she really expect an answer because I don't want to hear my reply.

Because I know the right answer, the one my Sunday school teachers taught me and my parents raised me on. I know the answer I am supposed to say but if intimacy is speaking honestly then honestly I don't have the right answer. I don't have the answer I have tried to convince myself I believe. 

So I am taking down the Christmas lights and blowing out the autumn-scented candles and turning off the brewing tea and letting the Ben Howard song disappear. I am throwing the cozy atmosphere in the garbage because I don't want superficial intimacy any longer. I want you and me and our hearts speaking freely even when it hurts and it's messy and we are afraid of our own honesty. 


image: source