I am tired of holding back.
This season of silence has been a time of stripping, much like Edmond at the pool.There has been allot of unrest, yearning for my home, change, and uncertainty… and in it all I have been reminded what makes me a savage.
I remember a few years ago, after I preached my first sermon a friend said in conversation, “I could tell you were holding back.” That phrase has always stuck with me, and reminded me of my quiet discontent. I am unsatisfied with a half-assed Christianity and a moral way of living. I hate “church culture” and the pressure I feel to conform to some ideal of Christianity. My friend is right, I do hold back… and I wish I didn’t.
Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the savage rears his head and yaulps across the rooftops of the world. My friend had seen me do this, knew I am capable of it, and wished that I had let go. He had see me give a youth lesson on Jesus’ cleansing of the temple that scared some kids and sent a message clean and clear: Jesus doesn’t care about your family ties to church, weather or not your entertained, about your friends… Jesus only cares about you being right with God. Everything else better be second place, or watch for flying tables and escaping doves.
Like I said, sometimes the savage yaulps.
It been a long time since I’ve heard the savage. I get glimpses every now and again. Occasionally I catch hear a faint echo of what he truly wants to say… but no yaulps. So, like I said, I am tired of holding back. I want to learn to let go of my need to be thought of as smart, my definition of my self as theologically astute, and my tendency toward watering down what I’m really trying to say.
Now, before you get the idea that I’m all about the savage, drinking beer, swaggering, and telling people how bad the Americanized church sucks, let me say this: the cultural part of me has held back as well.
At heart, I am a poet. That is why the pseudonym “cultural savage” fits me well. There are two halves to this whole. But no part of me has yet let go into the goodness of an unsafe God who is full of reckless, raging fury that we call His love.
Now, I’m probably rambling… but that’s ok. This stuff needs to come out, in honesty, love, well crafted words… and sometimes stream of conscious rants.
The winds are changing in my life. I want to let go of the rope that keeps me in harbor and sail where the Spirit would take these words. If I offend in what I say, accept this preemptive apology. Know it all comes from a heart that wants to see all people everywhere in love with God and learning to live this new life. Sometimes before we can embrace the new, we have to put down the old. thank God the old has been crucified with Christ, and this day I re-crucify that fearful half-hearted boy that sneaks in the shadows, keeping comfort in sin and safety. Lord, illuminate this heart so there is no shadow left. See me for all I am, good and bad. And if you love me as I am, whom shall I fear. You are the stronghold of my life, Ill not be afraid.
I am learning to let go.