The blogosphere can be a bizarre place, a bubbling cauldron of controversy, rhetoric, and vitriol. Sometimes, I’m not too fond of it.
I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. Yes, I’m still tired from a whirlwind summer. Yes, I needed to get the kids into their school routines. But mostly, I’ve needed to think. I’ve needed the silence and stability of the “real world,” the grounding, day-to-day cycles of running the dishwasher, folding the laundry, and helping kids with homework. I’ve needed to read books, instead of writing posts. I’ve needed to let my mental spin cycle tumble its own laundry, ignoring the latest internet dirt.
See, I hate controversy. I don’t think this is shocking to anyone who knows me “in real life.” I feel like a Timothy at heart, a timid, pious, sensitive type, driven to bouts of boldness by love and faith, but so innately unsettled by the hoopla surrounding his calling that his stomach was constantly roiling.
I don’t like to ruffle feathers. I’m more the smoothing-hair-and-whispering-soothing-words type. I’d rather comfort people than churn them up.
And yet, I can’t stick with safe, non-controversial topics when the bonds of legalism chafe so cruelly that the broken-hearted whimper or cry out in pain, or when people are suffocating their souls trying to live up to the status quo, instead of growing into their identity in Christ.
So sometimes I just keep my mouth shut. And think. And pray. And cry.
It always startles me to hear someone refer to me as a rebel, or provocateur, or some such thing. Seriously, me? Gentle, peace-loving, “don’t-you-dare-step-on-that-bug-because-it-has-feelings-too” Jenny? It absolutely astonishes me.
And yet, it makes me do a heart-check. Am I harboring some anger or bitterness that I have not worked through? Am I saying or doing things that are needlessly divisive? Am I, despite my best efforts, tearing down brothers and sisters I disagree with, instead of building up the Body of Christ?
I hope not. And I don’t think that I am. That is certainly not my heart, and I SO hope that comes across in my writing. If only because I selfishly don’t want to be misunderstood.
But I think there is more to not wanting to be misunderstood in this regard than selfishness. It’s because I want my life to exude Ephesians 4. “…Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love…Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
I hope that comes across in my writing, and in my life.