"You're sick." "You're whacked." "You have a secret agenda." "You are ungracious." "You're a know-it-all." "You're a liar."
Those are just a few of the things that have been said to me on- and offline since beginning this site. Most of these things don't elicit more than an eyeroll, and a few of them actually make me laugh. (The allegations against my mental health were a nice touch. ;-)
But by far the insult that has most hurt was from the commenter who said he originally liked this site for the church updates but that it became too much about "theological preaching," even to the point that he found it "nauseous."
Look, I know I'm a wordy guy. I am fully aware that I am a "writerly sort." I don't sound exactly this way when I talk (because, naturally, there's less forethought in speech than there is in the written word), but I do sound a bit like it. This is the real me. I'm not posturing. I know I can come across as arrogant or condescending or like a know-it-all, even when I don't mean to. I totally get that.
But what I feel is very important to stress to you, the readers of this site, is that the more general stuff on Spirituality that I talk about here is not just me navel-gazing. It's not some sort of theological self-gratification. I wish I could tell you all the junk I've been through in my life, and am going through right now, but if I can't speak generally without getting insulted, I'm sure not going to be vulnerable like that. What I do want you to know, however, is that the stuff of this site are not just Big Ideas to me. I've, as they say, "workshopped" this stuff.
Sin, grace, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption. My heart and soul have bled those things. My writing style may smack of detachment or emotional divestment, but if I could snip off a bit of my heart and let you see it, you would see all of these things as outpourings of my life. I have anguished over them. I have been offended and comforted by grace. I have wrestled to the point of physical pain with my sin and the sin of others. Like I said, if I could show you the truth as you'd need to, you wouldn't question my investment in the stuff of discipleship any more.
So you can keep calling me a liar, you can keep accusing me of not getting it, you can keep believing this blog is just about me being wordy and trying to impress. But you don't know me. So don't ever tell me I don't believe it or haven't lived it. I am clinging to the hem of Jesus' robe in such a way right now, that if you truly understood, you wouldn't change places with me for all the money in the world.