The statement the guy in the store said to me
yesterday has really stuck. “Thank you for being so real.” Six words. Common,
ordinary, everyday words. Yet, when strung together they have given me lots of
Am I real? What does
that really mean? So many times I consider myself fairly stupid for being so
transparent in my writing and speaking about my journeys with God and with His
Church. There are those who have seen my words as giving doubt to my belief in
God, which is totally false and I hope that I never portrayed that feeling. I
have (at times) doubted the traditional church, but not the Church itself. I
have had doubts about the structure and bureaucracy of the church, but not the
work and ministry of the Church.
I have been censored
by a church in the past and asked to remove some of my thoughts from a public social
media forum, even though I did not write about specific churches, people or
events. Just in general thoughts about events that affected me. Yet, I was
asked to remove my reality. Perhaps the fact that I feel the calling to be
transparent about my walk is what has bothered some people.
The whole purpose I
started blogging back in 2004 and have written books in the “Being God’s”
series is because I feel led to let others know that they don’t struggle alone.
I have gone through tough times, yet God has always been faithful to me and
people have been encouraged to know that they are not feeling anything unusual
or wrong in their spiritual life. God Is Always Faithful. The mountaintops will
eventually lead to a period in the valleys, yet we learn AND we lean to come
back up the hill. We learn that God is with us in the down times and we lean on
Him to stay with us during the struggles.
Maybe if more
ministers were open and honest there would not be those falling away from the
church. I know a lot of pastors who are extremely transparent with their
congregations and community, while at the same time are encouraging and helpful
to those who encounter similar experiences. But, there are some who portray a
life of “milk and honey” with God and we get the feelings that our struggle is
a result of some sin or falling away. This has been said to me and to others
and can prove devastating to one’s spiritual life.
As I continue to
ponder this guy’s comments to me, I figure that being “real” has given me many opportunities
to speak and share to those who need a message of hope. And, maybe being “real”
is my calling. And in my way of thinking, that isn’t a bad thing. So, I
continue to write, and speak, and pray and encourage folks as I go my merry
way. God is Great. All the Time. Even when life doesn’t feel so great.
And for today my
friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. The supposed “real” one. But, ultimately, I'm just being God's.