Thursday, October 18, 2007

Go Ahead, Look Right Through Me.

Okay, I've decided that until more interesting stuff develops in my relationship with Hitch, I'm not going to blog about it, just because you probably don't want to hear all the confusing details of my scatterbrained thoughts on the issue. What I will blog about, though, is how certain friends are being great right now, just by taking the time to listen to the ramblings going on in my head.

Only a few people (in the so-called real world) know of my decision to remain celibate and my conservative interpretation of the Bible's passages on homosexuality. When Hitch first asked me out on a date, I went to four of these friends for advice. Two were girls, two were guys, two were conservative, two were liberal, and all were Christian. As expected, I got a variety of views, but the one piece of advice that they all agreed on was, "Be honest." It was good advice, because that's exactly what I aim to be.

One of the friends I went to was a guy from my Bible study named Austin. He's a really cool guy. He's very trustworthy and a natural leader, and it was the aura of trust around him that made him one of the first people I came out to when I got to college. Granted, we're not really good friends. We don't have anything in common except for our love of Christ. He's definitely a big, tough guy while I, of course, have admitted to having a little more "sugar in my step." ;-)

Nevertheless, it's easy to talk to him, and he's a great listener. I told him of my concerns, and he asked many questions about what I was looking for in the relationship, what I believed in terms of God's plan for human sexuality, and how I expected to go about reconciling the two. He's conservative and agrees with most of my choices, and he said that I could trust that he wouldn't tell anyone else in the Bible study. My response was that I didn't care who he told.

I have no shame in my struggles, nor do I have shame in my orientation. If my story can help end some of the bigotry and prejudice that, unfortunately, abounds in Evangelical circles, then I don't care if it's shouted from the rooftops. Of course, whenever I express this, I'm always warned that I should be "careful" when it comes to who I talk to. I don't think that should happen. I hold transparency in the highest esteem, and I think it's a shame that most Christians don't.

How can we really share our struggles and the joys that God has blessed us with if we're only advised to "get personal" with one or two people? Can't I be personal with everyone? Can't I tell someone exactly what's going on in my life, even if I don't know them that well? To me, the very bond of being a Christian should mean that there will be automatic trust, concern, and a lack of judgment whenever I share something with other believers. It's a shame that other people don't expect this.

When I'm in some Christian circles, I just get the feeling that everyone is plastic. Sure, they have struggles. But they don't share them. They might have one or two people whom they trust, but otherwise there's this veneer of happiness and joy. No one wears their emotions on their sleeves. That, or they genuinely are that happy all the time. I don't buy that.

Being transparent is hard. There is, of course, a balance that must be found between being open and being polite and appropriate. But some people take politeness to the extreme, to the point where they just seem too perfect. It's almost intimidating. Personally, I've always worn my emotions on my sleeve. I can't really hide or back down or pretend that I'm someone I'm not. If I can be myself around God, why can't I be myself around His Christians? Yes, I understand that lacking an "outer shell" makes my personality seem unstable. I know that in this blog alone I've described myself as shy, ambitious, energetic, mellow, ditsy, and intellectual. It just depends on how I feel at the time. But at least those things are mine, and not something that I've had to build.

What are your thoughts on transparency? How open should we be with other Christians? For bloggers, how open should we be on our blogs? Sometimes I get concerned that I share too much here, but it is an easy place to be oneself. Hope everyone is blessed, and apologies for the rambling, spastic tone of the post. It's a Thursday. :)

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