It's been three months. It's the longest stretch, I believe, of silence on this now 10 year old collection of randomness that I have struggled to use for the sole purpose of maintaining sanity and balance. As I read back over the years, I see glimpses of my mental state weaving their way like a tapestry through the phases that comprise my life as a self proclaimed pastoral artist in the great city of Seattle. I see glimpses of whimsy (I really just have always wanted to use that word), glimpses of profound thoughtfulness ... And humility, and glimpses of sarcastic and cynical darkness. Sometimes it is hard to look back and read these ... And then again sometimes it has been encouraging.
My absence over these past few months I can attribute entirely to an attempt at not indulging the cynic that lurks below the surface. My ever encouraging wife has been insisting that I begin writing again as it truly is balance and we truly are trying to regain ours. Many of you know that I have this other blog that is meant to be a guiding force in encouraging the infant church that we are nurturing forward. To be completely honest, lately it has taken every ounce of optimism that I still possess to keep that one as encouraging as it needs to be ... So something had to give and it was my old standby that has been on the sidelines... Standing by...waiting for relief that has been very slow in coming and is still not fully there.
I'm a pastor ... and we are not really supposed to admit that sometimes following the path of Jesus just outright sucks. But it does, and it has, and I've tried to avoid it publicly but it seems as if every day that I do I come face to face with this reality manifested in the life of someone else who is walking in the darkness best described in the Psalms and through the writings of some of the ancient mystics of the faith, usually locked away because it often was too painful to admit while pulling back the curtain on the wizard. I could write my own version of the psalms... I'm pretty sure that Lifeway wouldn't allow them to be sold in their stores, nor would I be able to share from them devotionally.
I, for one, am tired of masks and "fake it till you make it" theology. This real faith stuff is risky, it's hard, you can fail and you can get hurt and anyone who tells you differently is lying to you. You can swear at God and not get zapped like a bug. You can give God the ole three finger salute minus two fingers and still keep your hands to fight another day. In fact, I believe, that you have to be at this point somewhere along the life and growth process of you relationship with Jesus or you're not really trying.
The real honest truth that I hope to begin this next chapter of my writings with is this ... It's hard, but Oh so worth it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.