Someone has approached me to write a book about a plan interrupted—actually, his plan to kill his mother’s murderer.
I’m interested for a couple of reasons. The first is because I love how God gets in the way of things, doesn’t sweat standing between a round of 9mm bullets and a man’s heart. Brings assassins to their knees in worship.
That kind of story reminds me no heart is too hardened, too broken, or too bitter for Him to heal.
The second reason is personal. After writing one memoir, I’ve taken on a great deal of anxiety about having hung my laundry, right down to the seamless underwear, out there for all to see. In person I am cautious, reserved. I keep my distance for a while. (I think I figured out that even a fool seems wise if she keeps her mouth shut long before I read it in Scripture.)
But when I write, this other person starts talking. She’s shameless, she tells all. Then she publishes it.
It’s ironic that I feel more comfortable about getting into someone else’s head—even one with murder on the mind—than I do about exposing my own story again. Now there are probably other things going on here, but one thing is for sure: good memoir isn’t about airing dirty laundry just for the sake of shocking the neighbors, but it is about being real, touching nerves, bravely hanging those bigger-than-you-like and dingier-than-you-wish undies right alongside the teeny frilly pair.
And then not hiding behind the sheets when someone comes by.
I see from the reviews on my book how much people enjoy seeing the humanness that wrestles with life but surrenders to God, the hidden weakness that stands strong in God’s strength. Because truth touches the stuff of life that belongs to us all.
So what stops us from openly sharing these thoughts—the struggles AND the joys with each other or even with God? What makes me fend off swarms of insecurity about what people will think now that the memoirist inside of me has spilled her mind?
Last Sunday our pastor asked everyone to write down what stops them from diving full-face into a surrendered life with the Lord. What blocks our living as though we really believed? As the pastor read some of the responses: fear, self, carnal delights, and distrust that God would fail them, I ran down my own list.
Why do I block that person who delights in early morning solitude with the Lord from living “joyfully free” in him in front of others?
Maybe that early morning person is related to the memoirist who boldly pens about faith and foibles.
Maybe I need to be living inside out.
photo credit: romerican via photo pin cc