Monday, January 09, 2012


Been thinking lately about why I write. This blog has undergone several shifts in focus since I started it almost five years ago. Heck, I've undergone several shifts during that time! I'm not really sure if I have "regular" readers anymore. And I certainly haven't been that regular with writing, myself. No complaints on either account, though. Life ebbs and flows and it is all good.

Writing has always been necessary for me on one level. That is to say, there have been many times when I've needed to express something but could not speak it. Writing therefore is more natural to me than speaking. It gives me time to decide what I want to say, and to "unsay" it if necessary.

Really, I think what has been on my mind is this: On the short list of meaningful things that God has spoken to my heart was something back about 20 years ago now, give or take. These were the words: "I have called you to be an outspoken person." That was about as bizarre as Jesus saying to the dead girl, "Little girl I say to you, arise!" At the time this happened, I had a hard enough time saying anything to anyone, let alone being outspoken, frank, blunt about anything. And yet, there it was. Bizarre.

As I look back I see that God has had a process going. What does it all take within a person to be outspoken? I can only answer for myself. As a very intuitive person, I often can "see" or sense things in a sort of entirety without being able to put a whit of it into words. Words, in that case, become like a second language that I have to learn first. So, part of being outspoken means to spend a long time in meditation, in soaking, in marinating in something. I have the words when the thing itself has sunk into me and arises as if of its own accord. And I think bluntness comes from experience of a thing to such a degree that I could not deny it without betraying my soul. I am by nature pretty flexible and open-ended, but if I have, for example, suffered from listening to a certain song too many times I will tell you bluntly I can't stand it. Or if I've suffered interiorly over someone I can tell them bluntly that I love them. Does bluntness always come from a passionate experience of the soul? Isn't one of the greatest maladies of our time this tendency to keep our lives neutral, numb to passionate feelings of joy or pain, free from the suffering that passion produces? Of fear of those intense sort of experiences?

This is all on my mind lately because more and more I feel myself being drawn to actually be outspoken. I spent decades of my life hearing the internal tape say "shut up and go away." That tape has been dismantled, but from habit there are times when I think "should I say something, really?" and always this echo comes back to my heart "I've called you to be an outspoken person," and so more often than not I tend to speak up. Now, I know there is a time to speak and a time for silences. No one enjoys a pontificater, or a know-it-all, or a self-centered blabber. Least of all myself. Dead horses need not be beaten. That's not the type of speaking out I'm talking about. And to be honest, right now some of the "speaking" I'm speaking about is writing. But it is also spilling over in my life to those I communicate with mostly by talking. I have to sort of look and marvel at this, because I know myself and my history, and I have to see this as a development in grace. Like all development in grace, every new step is like the very first one, just at the starting gate. And the grace is there to serve God's grander designs and purposes. Don't claim to have all that figured out. But, there's something going on here that is a new thing.

1 comment:

molly said...

great post. I, as you know, tend to be quite blunt. I sometimes hurt insecure people without meaning to. In general, however, I think we all need to say what we mean and mean what we say.
Word of caution, people really disliek blunt people.