“Pollyanna!,” she spat with sisterly disdain.
But I took it as a compliment. Every single time she said it. Because I liked seeing the good in people, in situations and in life. It beat the heck out of being miserable her.
“You’re not funky enough,” he said matter-of-factly.
Funky is highly overrated. But I already told you that story.
“It’s easy to embrace heaven and goodness in a safe protected privileged bubble,” he jabbed.
I found it ironic. Because not too long ago he told me about a time when he almost drowned. He was under water in a protected bubble for quite some time. And he liked it there. He didn’t want to leave. But a voice told him to swim toward the light so he did.
So why insist that I leave my protected bubble? Is it just a matter of misery loving company? “Join the f*ing human race,” he wrote. Why on earth?
God placed Adam and Eve in a protected bubble. It was called the Garden of Eden. To be accurate, the garden was not the bubble – there was danger lurking there – the bubble was the protective warning God gave them. The one thing He did not want us to have was a knowledge of good and evil. But Adam and Eve insisted upon it and look what it got them. Look what it got us.
Immediately after gaining carnal knowledge, Scripture says they were afraid. An emotion I am guessing they had never experienced before.
Jabber cursed that I am not and never will be an effective counselor because I will not climb down into the pit and embrace the dark side. I have three things to say about that:
#1 I am not a counselor or therapist. I’m a wife, mom, and speaker. And I invite people on retreats now and then to listen to their stories. Even if I were a professional counselor, I don’t believe climbing into a dark pit would help anyone. Which leads me to
#2 When I used to lead women (and sometimes men) through post-abortion Bible studies, from time to time someone would ask, “How can you lead these studies since you’ve never had an abortion?” Usually it was asked in an angry manner by a participant who was going through a rough patch on the road to recovery. Here’s what I would tell her: Jesus hasn’t had an abortion either and He’s the One who heals you.
#3 We’ve all heard that FBI agents (or whoever deals in counterfeit $) don’t study counterfeit bills in order to catch counterfeits. They study the real thing. Because when you know the real thing inside and out, you can easily spot what is not.
I received a lot of praise and attention from teachers for being smart, for quickly understanding things. Being smart became a big part of my identity. Back then, if someone would have insinuated that my understanding and effectiveness were deficient because I hadn’t descended into some dark pit, I might have been tempted to go there just to prove something. But I have nothing to prove. My identity isn’t wrapped up in being smart anymore, and I know that going deep does not mean going down into a pit. It means looking up to heaven, seeing what healthy looks like and aiming myself and others in that direction.
If having a knowledge of good and evil were so stinking important, then God would not have warned against it.
So to that sister who tried to shame me into the pit by saying that I was not as savvy and sophisticated as she was, I say “scram.” And to the boyfriend who invited me into the pit by implying I’d be more interesting, I say “beat it. I’ve seen it for what it is.” And to those wolves in sheep’s clothing playing their sick game, I say “get behind me satan. Luring me into the pit by insisting I’d be more spiritually complete, further along in my walk with the Lord and more like God may have worked with A & E but it didn’t work with me.”
Call me Pollyanna, call me not funky enough, call me not spiritual enough. Just don’t call me late for dinner.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness
shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever and ever and ever.
© 2015, The Reluctant Baptist
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Weaving the Threads.”