In an email to a new writer friend from the BWC, whom I've ony ever conversed via email, we were discussing the downside of humanness in past prejudices our families had or were affected by. My reply was something to the effect that humanness makes me sad and that's why I like tv, movies, and books. I like these escapes because they tell stories often unseen in reality, stories which complete the cycle of redemption and restoration while preserving the fraility or humanness of the characters. (i.e. everyone is flawed)
It is that last point that I think keeps us, me especially, from contributing to the completeness of the redemptive cycle. We are so sure of ourselves (in general) that we have so much difficulty letting down our guard enough for compromise, grace, or the possibility we could actually be wrong. Again, I'm saying this generally, but I know enough of the truth in my own heart to say it.
On the flip side, sometimes even within my strengths, I lack appropriate confidence in my abilities, outcomes, and decisions. It both a self-worth issue and a genuine check and balancing habit I've developed, specifically in areas that I've only recently taken on, like writing. I would love to write more: technical, spiritual, commentary, or even fiction.
But I was the kid whose best verbal SAT score was 470. I said my BEST score! So I connect with author John Leax who struggled as a student but has given his life to teach and write. As I get older, I find that I love more of what I didn't like as a kid, and don't enjoy as much what I used. I need to constantly read, yet I am tiring of actively engaging in computer work. Complete opposite as a teen. I enjoy leading and managing now, taking some risks and putting my name out on some research or ideas, while as a teen I prefered to be less noticed lest I fail publicly.
But I was also very sure of myself in a few areas, specifically of faith, and in all of them within a narrow set of experiences and no respect for my lack of them. I connect with Leax in this writing:
Though my style has perhaps over the years grown a bit more complex, I think it has not changed much. I still like to grow plain statements out of personal stories. My voice remains simple and direct, closely connected to speech. Bu as the years have passed, my tentativeness has grown, and I find prose harder and harder to write. I am less and less sure of what I have to say. This uncertainty has nothing to do with any lack of faith or conviction. It is rather to do with three shifts in my thinking. First, I have an increasing respect for the wondrous mystery of my life. Second, I am more aware of the limitations of language. And third, I am dumbfounded by my finiteness before the infiniteness of truth. ("Truth by Moonlight" in Grace is Where I Live, p.85)The first and third I am connecting with daily, struggling even. But they are not bad by any stretch of my imagination. If anything, it helps me find something to look forward to in the revealing of my life moving forward. What will my kids do next? How can A* and I connect more deeply with each other and others in true community? What will this new project bring in the next step of my job/career? Some of these bring frustration, but I am so trying to be positive, hopeful, and faithful in each.