In conversation last weekend, I realized that I do not fit the church mold very well. Of course, I never let on. I am used to holding my cards close, maintaining a poker face. Of course that is not very authentic, but honestly, I feel most people do not want more than that.
Withholding my thoughts and feelings (except from my blog!) is a life pattern. I learned in school that kids tease you when you raise your hands very often in class. Life lesson: just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to tell anyone.
Josh Brown just finished an excellent series at his blog called Exodus where guest bloggers described their experience of leaving traditional church. In his post, Josh described well the process of learning to hide your thoughts in order to blend in:
“…I had this feeling like I no longer “fit in”…I always felt like that if I was totally honest and open about my thoughts on God, politics, relationships, theology, etc. that I would no longer be “esteemed” or respected like I was. Again, to be quite fair, I never really fully gave anyone a chance to hear my full thoughts on things. But anytime I stepped outside the box and stretched things out a little, I was quickly confronted with words and faces that reminded me of my place.”
To a degree, all of us package ourselves in appropriate ways for the group we are with. Do you ever get the feeling that people couldn’t handle a full dose of you – a straight-out-of-the-bottle, unrefined, undiluted 100% dose of the real you?
Sometimes I withhold my most fanatical thoughts from the blog. Apparently I care if you guys think I am a heretic. Consider this a confession – I have far-out ideas, wild imaginings, and dangerous dreams, much too scary to put in print.