“Tell ’em about your blog, honey!” My husband waved his arm from me to our new friends with a proud gesture.
I could feel my face redden before the words were half-out of his mouth. I shot him a look, but it was too late. Their eyes were already glazing over.
“I … uh … yeah. I’m gonna kill him. I do have a blog. It’s nothing, really. Where is the waiter? It’s just a – um… I don’t really like it or anything. Come, Lord Jesus. Wait, tell me about your kids … ”
Or your pets. Or your roof shingles. Anything. Please.
My husband apologized with his eyes and mercifully carried the conversation toward politics and religion. Ahhh… safety.
I love writing. I’ve always enjoyed journaling or even writing poetry for close friends and family. Recently, I’ve discovered that having a public audience encourages me to write more and get better. It’s a fun hobby and I’m appreciating the creative outlet.
But in certain circles, I hide it. The term “blogger” has such a negative connotation for some folks, that I’m often embarrassed to wear it.
I’m also on staff at my church. When things are going well, it’s great. But when times are tough, it’s really hard. It’s not personal, but people are hurting and I hate being associated with their pain. I love my church. I love my role there. But there are times when I don’t wear my name badge in public.
And for many years, we were a homeschooling family. In most communities, I flew that banner proudly. But there were other situations where I tucked it way out of sight.
I wear and have worn many labels in my life that invited both judgement and praise: field hockey player, young bride, stay at home mom, mother of four, public schoolers, protective parent …
And in the trying times, when the labels have a stickiness that rubs me raw, or when the ID lanyards begin to draw tight into a suffocating squeeze… When the stereotypes press down on me and I choke on insecurity…
I shake them off faster than you can say it’s fickle-thirty.
Yes, but I’m not one of those hard-core homeschoolers, we don’t grind our own wheat or anything…
I’m not sure. I just kind of keep to my own ministry work and I’m not involved in any of the decision-making…
Yes, I’m going to hang out at the class party, if you don’t mind. I’m usually not so hovering, but my son is feeling shy today …
I un-peel, re-stick, and twist my labels until they say what’s positive, popular, and safe.
Like Peter with Jesus. Denying. Denying. Denying. Warming my hands over comfort and lies.
But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. Mark 14: 71-72
Jesus knowingly joined groups that would ruin His esteem. He willingly pursued hurtful sinners who would deny Him and cause pain.
Not once did he try to shake off their weight. My weight.
I’m a blogger, a staff member, and sometimes guilty by association. I’m a fair-weather saint, an all-weather sinner, and always guilty because I’m guilty.
Guilty of the very judging that I hate.
Guilty of the criticism that I can’t take.
Guilty of the rejection that I fear.
The only thing I hold tight is self-preservation, and the only circle in which I remain is a shifting one of pride.
But on the cross, Jesus renamed me with labels that last forever and really make me squirm: Forgiven. Righteous. Loved.
In math, the associative property states you can add or multiply regardless of how numbers are grouped.
The Associative Property of the Gospel states I’m grouped with Christ inside parentheses of grace and truth – regardless of how weak I am. Because of how weak I am.
He sticks my name tight to Himself because He knows I’m a hopeless peeler of His.
And His addition always equals life – you can count on it!
As sure as the rooster crows…
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39