Monday, January 31, 2005 by niebuhrian
In the past two months, I have moved from lurker to commenter on a number of blogs. It has been a long road for me, filled with success and failure. I have doubted my ability to say something meaningful or to add something to the conversation. I have re-read comments and felt stupid, ignorant, or just grossly inadequate. However, through all of that, I have begun to find a voice, my voice, and I am beginning to like it.
What I have learned though is that voices, especially voices that speak of vulnerability, that speak of desire can sometimes be abused. What is written below is a comment I made on the website www.reallivepreacher.com. You can no longer read the article in question, unless you can find it through the cache at Google (some have had some success at this), but you can read about the aftermath. I was lucky enough to read the article, and this what I thought about it and the conversation that followed...
I have spent the last three or so years of my short life wondering what would happen if people could find a way to live an authentic life that reflected the wit, charm, and mysteries of God. In this recently removed post, I saw myself in the reflections and desires, I saw myself in the brokenness and pain, and I saw myself attempting to be honest with my vulnerabilities.
Preaching and writing, for me, have never been about witty stories, half-baked anecdotes, and vacuous theology; it has always been about being real, experiencing the text and listening, questioning and hoping to hear God. Your stories give me hope that preachers, teachers, doctors, plumbers, bus drivers, whatever can find and share who they are through their experiences.
The comments posted are no more and no less than what I would expect. There is support for the writing, for the man, for the preacher; there is also anger and defensiveness at the reality present. There will always be people who will abuse our vulnerability and then blame us as the victims of that abuse. There will always be people who will cheer from the sidelines while the vulnerable will be left to tough it out. Thankfully, there will always be people who are willing to crawl along the path of our vulnerability with us -to help, to support, to guide, and to see us through- not so that we might feel better, but that we might feel at all.
grace and peace