Thursday, January 18, 2007


I received the following note yesterday regarding the (shoe)SHINE post from one of my seriously-greatly-highly treasured friends.

"I would've posted a comment but was too ashamed for others to see it. Conversation seems to come so easily for you. I always assume that no one would want to talk to me, or that I'd say something stupid. Sometimes I just don't want to be bothered, so my nose is in a book. I so want to be like you when I grow up."

I love her! Such wording is what ignites my fire for cheering on the world. If you could meet the woman who wrote this, you would not believe (you just wouldn't believe it) that she made this comment. She is magnetic. Everything about her seems ideal: she is picture perfect in health, appearance, demeanor, attitude, intellect, and spirit. For being human (meaning we each have flaw and sin) she is one of those you'd say is as good as it can get. You'd wish you could be like her....I do.

Yet, her response to yesterday's blog expresses so much of how we all feel about ourselves. We'd rather spare ourselves and everyone around us by pulling inwardly.

My point with all of this is what my friend has said about herself is what each of us feels in some zone. I battle enormous inferiority...yet I've made it my secret power. Not all of us are magnetic like her, but each has major strong points which we tend to hide "so that we don't say something stupid".

What's my secret? You see, I know a secret about everybody I know. Everybody has this lady's fear in some pocket of their being. That's why I can sit on a tour bus for hours with Loretta Lynn and be so comfortable that she ends up asking for my counsel....because I know she is world famous and still doesn't get past the self-flaws she feels certain stand out in public. That's why I can visit with Swindoll or McGwire or a homeless person....all of us are the same.

What can we do to break out? BE FREE TO SAY SOMETHING STUPID! I do. (Isn't that hilarious?) I do. I figure if I happen to say something stupid (just by accident, understand) it will let others in...because they are locked tight in some fear. My preaching has power in some areas because I'm not afraid to say "I was wrong" or "I did this poorly" or "I failed". It let's people in.

So? You are fascinating in places. You are strong. You are a blessing. Don't hide under a bushel (or a book, as she wrote). Risk. You'll make a difference for someone.

Finally, if you were in an airport and met the one who wrote this comment to honestly would marvel at someone so beautiful would think you were worthy of her conversation. You'd feel honored!

Build up someone by telling us where you get afraid to try.


Anonymous said...

There is a definition of intimacy that goes like this: "Freedom from anxiety in the presence of vulnerability." The only way to develop real intimacy is to put yourself in a vulnerable position and be met with a warm and accepting welcome. It is true in marriage. It is true in friendships. It is true with God.

In marriage, we certainly are vulnerable in a physical way but also in an emotional way. When that vulernability and display of our foibles and insecurity about ourselves is met with unconditional love and acceptance the intimate bond of marriage is tightened.

With God, we become vulnerable through prayer. In prayer we expose the core of our lives to God. We even show Him the messy areas of our lives and what does He do? He meets us with love and acceptance of who we are, not what we have done. What develops? Intimacy and trust.

What does that mean for friendships? As with marriage there is a give and take of who is vulnerable and who is accepting. When one is vulnerable, the other accepts and visa versa. What is the take home lesson? When someone is really open and honest with you, don't blow it. Don't put them down or be judgmental. Love them and accept them and your friendship will deepen.

We are all the vulnerable one at times and the accepting one at times. And over time intimacy develops. But you have to be willing to be vulnerable and to withhold judgment.

Just my 2 cents.

Donna G said...

I have the fear when I meet beautiful people...why would they want to talk to me...I am much more at ease with "average" people.

I also fear the intimacy Matt talks about. I would prefer you believe your illusion about me than to really horrify you by letting you know the real me. I think my fear of exposure sometimes comes off as "haughtiness"...I need to overcome this in my life.

Stoogelover said...

Look at that face on "djg"'s comment ... she IS one of those beautiful people! I read her blog and I know she is beautiful inside and out.

Rush, I remember the first time I heard you speak. A couple of times in your sermon, you made up words and then brought attention to them! You would say something you thought profound and say, "That was good! I think I'll buy the tape and listen to that again!" No one can copy that kind of humor and make it work. It has to come from the heart of someone who doesn't take him or herself so seriously.

I hope your friend reads your blog today. I'm glad I did.

As for Matt's comment, I appreciate what he said. Vulnerability comes at a high cost when it explodes in your face. But it also pays huge dividends when it is honored and reciprocated.

I've taken enough of your space.

Anonymous said...

You continue to make me feel good about myself, even though I'm nothing special. They say that laughter is the best medicine. I find that when I open my mouth and say something ridiculous, it often breaks the ice. Someone is bound to say something ridiculous... it might as well be me :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you go back and read these comments on your old posts Terry, but your words from this post were exactly what I needed to read. Thanks.