** Get your brain out of the gutter.**
The past few day, there has been a lot of media coverage about the man in Austria who drugged his daughter and then kept her locked up for nearly 25 years in a dungeon underneath his house, raping her and fathering seven children, three of whom he and his wife raised under the guise that their daughter had skipped town, and one of whom he burned when it died.
It’s story like this that illuminate how much we don’t know about each other. AB posted today about seeming to lose herself and yet being able to discover who she is through old posts. I was reading John Mayer’s blog today (don’t judge me yet, just go with it!) and he uses the phrase “This is about a level of self-consciousness so high in my generation, that’s it’s actually toxic”.
How true? How true.
It’s been stated more numerously than I can recount about how we are an overly exposed society, exposed to so much information and technology, as compared to another other generation ever. Our insecurities are magnified 10X more than they were even fifty years ago with the progression of technology.
We lose people. This girl was equivocally forgotten about, except for what her father said. People had stopped looking for her.
In an effort to keep up, we lose ourselves too. Most often, I think we lose ourselves in the “defining game”, that is, defining who and what we are, what we’re about, who we want to be, where we want to fit in – whatever eschelon that is. We do it in the church world too. I can’t help but laugh (instead of cry) after having attended a Christian college – how much of my time there was defined by ministry, constantly asking others “what are you involved in”. I was involved with a women’s social service club (read: sorority), and we had a saying that goes like this: “DZT is my ministry, not my identity”. Frankly, I always hated that phrase considering that, the times it was said the most, the club was usually staring at a group of new girls while wearing coordinating jerseys. It’s understandable why people would be confused that that’s NOT our identity, no? We as Christians do the same. I’m always intrigued by the many variations and definitions of Christians – and not just as our ministry but as our identity. For example, when DC Talk got big in the early 90’s. They rocked an entire era’s worth of believers by being different, talking and singing about issues that were relevant – abstinence, faith, doubt, suffering, abuse, etc. And I’ll be the first to admit that, I wanted to be a Jesus Freak too. I wanted to be different, to stand out, to be LIKE the world but not of it. Subsequently, an entire generation of teenagers took up piling into a mosh pit singing, “What would people think if they hear that I’m a Jesus freak”. We pierced. We tattooed. (Don’t worry Mom, I didn’t.) We pushed the boundaries. And yet… we all looked the same. We got lost seeking an ideal, an identity.
I have openly struggled the last few years figuring out who I am. I am so grateful and thankful that God did not let me be what I asked Him to let me be. I would be in a big ‘ole mess, y’all. Confused, Hurting, Tormented, in Bondage. His Sovereignty is just that… sovereign. It seems that almost daily, I’m apologize to someone for being so honest, or for expressing my opinion when, deep down inside, I am barely sorry (most of the time not at all) for expressing honesty about situations.
‘Cause I’m tired of hiding. ‘Cause I’m tired of being lost in the shuffle. I don’t make any promises that today will be the day that I’m suddenly original and unhindered. I don’t know what that looks like anyway.
“…uncovered and laid bare…” Hebrews 4:13