In our Christian faith, it is normal to say, “Praise the Lord” for something good that happens. It is normal to pray for someone in pain. It is normal to quote Jeremiah 29:11 when someone is not sure what their life is all about. Bu it is not normal to be honest.
One time I was sitting at a Claim Jumper Restaurant right outside Chicago interviewing for a church position. The executive pastor interviewing me ask me this question – “If your life was a newspaper, what stories within it, beyond the front page, would surprise me about you?”
Now I was forced to move beyond the cover stories I managed to the troublesome “Dear Abby” columns within the depths of my life. I replied, “Well you would probably be surprised to find that I doubt God’s calling on my life more than the flashy headlines will ever admit. You’d probably also find that there are instances of lust, pride and major insecurity within the fine print of my life. I suppose there are things I could strive harder to erase, but as long as the headlines stay good I’ve ignored the finer details of my life.”
The man was a bit taken back. “Of all the interviews I’ve done and asked that question, I think that was the most vulnerable anyone has ever been.” I felt slightly embarrassed.
It is normal to maintain what sells – what people want to hear. It is not normal to come out with the things that may turn people away. However, there is a freedom that comes when we stop being fragmented and allow our real self to be seen.