It has come to my attention recently that I am operating under several delusions. I say operating because the truth having been revealed to me, I can’t seem to reason out an appropriate manner of behavior under this new set of ….conditions.
Too vague? Enter my standard helper: the list.
1) I have thought, pretty much since I volunteered under BJ at a southside church for the last stint of college, that people were on my side. That in general, no one was really as conservative at they were made out to be, and anyone who was off put by my demeanor/appearance would meet me, learn how i loved Jesus (differently from them, but not necessarily less) and be reconciled to the idea that different does not always equal wrong.
2) As part of that, I have believed that, after knowing me, people will like me. It’s proven to be a general idea, if not a rule, for most of the last 11 years of my life. I have been amazingly blessed with reconciled relationships, if not with relationships that were, from inception, beautiful and fun.
3) And I’ve believed that these conditions were necessary for life to be good.
And I’ve been wrong.
Though I work for as the production intern children’s ministry, a babysitter and nanny, and a tutor for high schoolers (notably all relating to working with impressionable young people) I have pink hair and visible tattoos and peircings. I hope I can write soon (ish) about a thing called a “body biography” but until then let me just explain that the hoop in my lip and stud in my nose have ceased to surprise me. Until I went to an event put on by a Christian comedian a few weeks ago. For the first time in a long time, I was the only one with unnatural colored hair in the room. Then last week, at a cafe in a small town close to my friend’s house, it happened again. Neither of which would have registered except for the recent rash of people who, the more they get to know me, the less they like me. Each idiosyncrasy has led them further down the bunny trail that is my life and toward the end that they do not approve.
(Note- do not be confused. This post is not about others, either condemning or approving. It’s about me. It’s about who I am. But to calm any harmonizers out there, yes, I bring these things up when I feel the Spirit lead me to do so.)
And they do not like. Whatev, can we just go there? Can we just go ahead and say that Christians are not commanded to be friendly, they are commanded to LOVE (something far more powerful) and yet we can be some of the least loving, most condemning people around? Yes, we can. (no, i’m not being political) Or I can. I can tell you that I am loved deeply and well by many people, and liked pretty well by others, and am at least unoffensive to most of the rest. But it turns out that everyone I can think of that doesn’t like me ISNT someone upset by the Gospel (lots of other implications there) they are people who are, it seems, upset by my representation of the Gospel (and how greatly it differs from theirs).
So I ask my two favorite questions: How do you (I) feel about that? and What does that mean?
Well let me just give you the quick Gospel synopsis, which was told to me in passing many months ago by Stu, one of the pastors at my church (which may or may not mean it was originally said by Tim Keller)
“Be yourself, Ritz.”
“Be yourself. Don’t find your identity in it, find your identity in Christ. But just be you, Ritz.”
hoooooodang! You see, I am (in personhood) God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them. I was made for the express purpose of GOOD WORKS which He prepared for me already. So i can be this girl, (in personality) because I know who I am.
Does that even make sense to ANYone?!