I spent a lot of time trying to decide if it was going to be worth my time to do it this way. I didn’t want to do it for purely selfish reasons. But, it became clear that hiding everything from the world was more or less the same thing as the man who hid his talents, or even like me keeping half of my face hidden from the world at all times because I was ashamed of my blemishes. Of course, there are plenty of blemishes here. There are things that I’ve said that I am ashamed of, or wished I hadn’t said, and there are plenty of things that I forgot that I said that I probably should have put into practice at the time that I said them. Will there be people who are offended? Of course! You will get offended if you dive into the diaries and journals and letters of any historical figure. All of your most cherished saints and spotless sacred cows had their warts. For many people of this age, that is an invitation to brand that person as being nothing more or less than the unsavory character trait that was kept hidden during that person’s life. For example, those who would want to reduce Mother Teresa to an embezzler and MLK to a philanderer.
Generally speaking, those who would reduce a great person to being nothing but their worst character traits are usually small people who have nothing great to offer this world. The truth is, there isn’t a single human being who will ever be like Jesus–perhaps even Jesus wasn’t quite like Jesus. But, for whatever reason, we have it ingrained in us that some kind of superhuman could rise up some day, and this person would be free of any defects of character and also perfect in every way physically.
This is neither here nor there, though, to what I am trying to say. What I’m trying to say is: that my writing has been such a huge part of my life that I can no longer keep it hidden. I thought for years that I would wait until I was long dead before I gave my permission to publish anything or even have anything I wrote read by others (ie, as stipulations in a will, I get that I have really no control over it once I die). But, how long will it be until I die? I have no way of knowing. I’m not letting it float out into the world simply so people connected to me know that I didn’t spend all my time just reading books and watching movies and drinking–that I did do something, even if it wasn’t as much as what some other human beings have done.
I suppose that is one of the reasons for putting it out there. But also, and I think primarily, the reason is simply that my writing is as much a part of me as my limbs are. I have no wish any longer to walk through life with my limbs or my face hidden from view. If this ultimately means that I will lose opportunities to do some of the work that I am hoping to do in the near future, I think that I have to take that chance. After all, I don’t want to become an inauthentic pastor–a pastor with a hidden life or secret past that he always hopes nobody learns about. I want to be nothing more or less than a man in the most human sense of the word–imperfect and flawed in so many ways, but desirous of helping others, doing good for the least of these, doing unto my neighbor as I would have my neighbor do to me, loving the Lord God with all of my heart, soul and might, etc. I seek to do these things in the most authentic way possible, and most definitely not as some pious frauds. There are enough pious frauds in the history of Christianity. I don’t need to be another one.