Last day for Barclay Press

A friend told me he didn’t think he could blog. I asked why, and he said, “I’m not sure I could open up like that…out there.”

I think one of the most important things that’s happened in my life is to realize it’s ok to let out what’s going on inside me out there. It’s ok to not put on the mask, to share failings and faults, to let out my longings and hopes, to admit that I’m not the person I would like to be. It’s an astounding gift. God has given people in my life, beginning with my parents and continuing over countless examples, people who have shown me forgiveness, acceptance, and even unconditional love. Well, as unconditional as we humans get, anyway.

Many people don’t have that gift. They grow up in homes where they are never good enough. They are chewed up and spit out by relationships with others, used by others for selfish gain. It will be impossible for many people to believe that Jesus loves and accepts them until some flesh and blood people show them love and acceptance. When we read the gospels, when God walked around in the flesh, that’s pretty much what we see him doing; we see him breaking every barrier to love the unloveable, to laugh and eat and cry and celebrate with them and show them they are valuable. You and I who follow Jesus today find our greatest task to be creating a climate of forgiveness, acceptance and love, for people who don’t believe they deserve it.

Because there’s one more thing; it’s not only ok to be vulnerable and share what’s inside us…it is essential. Guarding and hiding our true selves, whether out of pride, fear, or habit, makes true relationship with each other impossible. The worldwide revolution God is doing, the one he calls “The Kingdom of God”, is a revolution of acceptance. It’s a coup of breaking the shame and secrecy and posturing to be true family together.

I don’t claim to live in the fullness of freedom yet. But I’ve been in the pool long enough to tell you, “Jump on in! The water’s fine.”

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