Top 'o the morning to you. Let's do this new year thing right. In the first few weeks of 2014, I've been posting on better ways to be in the new year. Each of them hinges on the knowledge that "the Lord is here," that the ongoing presence of Jesus in us causes us to live and interact differently with ourselves, with our world and with those closest to us.
Post #1: choose empathy over sympathy.
Post #2: put the Word in.
Post #3: learn something new.
Post #4: inspire trust from others.
And now for post #5: speak your truth.
Who knows but what you've come into the world for such a time as this . . . -Rich Mullins, songwriter and musician
There comes a time in most people's lives where the truth is not a luxury. Most of us discover how to posture at a young age, how to avoid the hard things, how to sidestep confrontation; however, this delicate state of affairs often wears down with time. Case in point—the 85-year-old who comes off blunter than the dullest knife. For many, there is a point at which they begin to stop hiding.
Why not now? Why not this moment, while reading this blog post, on this particular day in your one beautiful life?
What is the gospel, this good news of God becoming a slippery, hungry, crying baby but an invitation to speak your truth?
They met under cover of night, Jesus and Nicodemus, and I've always wondered if their conversation was hushed. Nicodemus asked a funny, kind-of embarrassing question about being born again, of being stuffed back up into your mother's uterus and shooting back out through the birth canal.
Jesus didn't blink.
There was an underneath-the-radar hunger in this Pharisee, a yearning and a desire for truth, and Jesus laid out a banquet for him:
God came to save the world through me.
Further, "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." -John 3:20-21
So that what may be seen plainly? The truth. I step into the light because I confidently live by the truth—the life, the death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ—and so I want the truth to be seen through my life, through my story, through my voice, however small it might seem.
If I am the Beloved of God, the most ridiculous thing in the world would be to hide in a corner, to discount the glory of Jesus shining in this one life. If I am walking in the light, I should naturally desire for my life to be lived in the light.
So why does fear keep me from speaking my truth—the truth Jesus has shaped and is shaping in me? Because for too long I have listened to voices of condemnation, to voices that tell me to mind my place, to voices that believe my story is invalid, my truth, inconsequential.
In the spirit, then, of openly living from the truth of my life in Jesus, of owning my story and being willing to speak my truth, I've made a list of three things I'd like to carry into 2014. I want to . . .
- Live loved. (To truly live as the Beloved of God and to inhabit his selfless, giving love.)
- Word for 2014: "Open." (I'm purposing to open myself to new beginnings and new opportunities to speak my truth, to Resurrection in unlikely places.)
- To ask myself, What would you do if you were not afraid? and to pray for guidance in pursuing those things.
Incidentally, in John 12, Nicodemus steps into the light, comes out of hiding, and clearly associates himself with Jesus following his death. Resurrection, indeed. A story worth being told.
What is keeping you from speaking your truth? In what ways do you want to begin to speak your truth in 2014? Do tell.