Christians Don’t Cuss and Other Fairytales

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I have put myself in time out. The dialogue is something like this:

Right side of brain:  “I never thought I knew how to say those words”

Left side:  “Sure felt good to get THAT off your chest didn’t it! ” Rummages around in the empty boxes looking for more containers of trash.

Enter the principle:

“Christians DON’T cuss”  said in my very best religious, interior critic voice, wielding a hefty rod of correction-the ever present 1611 KJV. ( In old English)

For the next hour I self-loathe, feeling the bleed of incorrectness, flagellating myself with scripture, all the while the four year old me keeps getting the duct tape off her mouth, refuses to stay in her room and her eyes are flashing at my 100th attempt to silence her.

That’s when I begin to sift for truth.  The truth is, I don’t hate God, I don’t like to hurt people, I believe in pureness of speech and thought and I haven’t stopped being a “Christian” because expletives came out under duress.  I am broken.  I am weak.  I am flesh. So much veneer has come stripping off…I thought I was real and honest and without wax aka…sincere:

Sincere:

having or showing true feelings that are expessesd in an honest way

: genuine or real : not false, fake, or pretended

“Without wax” stems from the Latin words “sin” (without) and “ceras” (wax) and was often said to be the origin of the English word “sincerity.” The story goes that the phrase “without wax” first became widespread during the height of Roman and Greek artistry, when sculptures first became a popular artistic medium. When a sculpture had a flaw, artists would fill in the chip or crack with wax, colored to match the marble. Wax was said to serve as cover-up, masking imperfections on what was most likely cheap pottery. An arguably perfect or quality piece of work was therefore free of these imperfections—in other words, without wax. Pottery pieces were even said to be stamped with the phrase “without wax” as proof of authenticity.

Now, in this moment, I feel the earthen-ness of my pottered self.  I feel strangely as though I was more authentic in my tirade of self expression, than any lofty discourse I have ever given.  In my baseness I feel more real than I have in years.  This rattles me.  Am I back-slidden as my religious schoolmarm black belt judo Bible kick boxing interior self  is sure of?  After all, Christians don’t cuss.  They don’t get mad, they don’t drink, smoke, chew, watch movies, dance, envy, doubt, fear, over eat, under eat, purge, binge, gamble, risk, run away, make waves, they are…..good.  Right?

RIGHT?

My four year old self stares me down stamping her foot.  She lifts her face to mine…” Do you LOVE ME?!” I have never asked myself that.  Do I love the imperfections?  The true dark, deep hidden self with all of its unpredictable un-neatness, insatiable curiosity, frivolous spontaneity.

NO.  I love order, and perfection, and beauty and symmetry and color.  I hate black and white, and mess and chaos and instability and above all WEAKNESS!

It is really quiet inside.  That is the truth and I am shocked at the revelation.  Weakness scares me. I have been told most of my life to be strong, even with the passing of my father, the words from my mother were:  “Be strong”.  The truth is. I am not.  I never really have been, and somehow I hear a phrase in my spirit:  “That’s ok, it’s not your job.  It’s mine.”

Then this happens:

“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are . . . because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier . . . for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own . . . ”
Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

and then….this-

“Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you . . . remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business . . . even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought . . . unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy . . . What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort . . . than being able from time to time to stop that chatter . . . ”
Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

I am going to go for a walk and close the book of myths and listen to the truth the stillness brings.

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