I am a starving artist.
However I do not starve for a muse or creativity, but authenticity.
I have gone to church my whole life and I still find it difficult to take off the mask and embrace this beautiful mess of a person I have come to know. This past year of school I have had some of the deepest, most honest conversations of my life. I felt that I lived most of days within the notion of being fully known. Yet, I come home and find it dfficult to reach this level of truth with those around me.
Most of the people I associate with at home are Christians, and not just those lip-service kind of
Christians, but those whom their very heartbeat is in line with Father. So why is it so difficult? Why do I feel cautious, and dare I say it, ashamed to reveal my honest poetry in a place so close to home?
I’ve realized that it is incredibly easy to become tossed around by others’ expectations of you. Maybe at home, the stakes are higher and thus, I have more need to conform. It’s not that I’ve lost my identity, but I do find it harder to dive into the gosspel we must all wrestle with daily. And that’s it exactly. I want people to wrestle with it. I want people to disregard a gospel that can be wrapped up neatly and held in their hands and embrace the ugly, messy, sloppy gospel that murders an innocent man and calls his perpertrators forgiven. Like What? Who is this Jesus?
That is possibly the most dangerous question we can ask. I would not be a Christian if I never asked that question and I continue to ask it everyday. After a desperate prayer is answered, we should ask ‘who is Jesus?‘ After we are met with the failure of our sin, we should ask ‘who is Jesus?‘ When we find our hearts growing lonely and apathetic, we must again ask, ‘who is Jesus?‘ At the end of that question is an eternity worth of answers. It is our job to discover as many as we possibly can, never losing our sense of wonder. So who is Jesus to you, right now? And who do you need Him to be?
I have become accustomed to the Jesus that enjoys my curiosity and listens to my objections. He gets me, truly. He hears my cries for the broken people I meet, those that cover their hurt with masks, and those that are so broken they do not even try to hide. He allows my theological questions and my frutrations with the Church. He enjoys my inquiries. He encourages my greatest dreams and gives me a wondrous sneak peak each day.
My second year of college has allowed me to find this Jesus in the midst of death, loss, and physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. I want to connect with others in this same way.
It’s not that I think the ability to be brutally honest makes someone more or less a Christian, but I do think that the Church gets it wrong sometime. We need to stop putting ourselves together and allow ourselves to be broken in the presence of those that are able to see us through the eyes of Jesus.
Think about it. Do you really know those around you? Or do you just settle for the less complicated version they present to you? The best way to get others to open up is to open up first.
Hi. I’m Haley. I’m 19 And sometimes I can be an utter mess. But a beautiful mess…An utterly beautiful mess.
I want authenticity.
-A World Changer