Yesterday I only opened the topic I meant to address. Alan Knox mentioned on his blog some personal difficulty he is going through, commenting, “I’m just trying to share more of myself with you. You may not care, and you may not want to read this kind of post, and that’s fine. But, to me, sharing all of life is important – even the parts that aren’t necessarily pretty.” Yes indeed. Some of the bits I have written on this blog are perhaps too personal and need to be redacted. They are still up because the blogs I respect the most share very weighty personal matters. The honesty makes them precious.
Still, a website is not the best place to build a personal trust. Only I have found myself too free with newly sprouted friends, and too stingy with deeply rooted friends. There are so few outside of my own family who comfortably endure both my theological speculations and my tendency toward innuendo. The two talents attract opposite sorts, and sometimes the one sort of friend doesn’t realize I have the other sort of habit.
You may say that theology and ripe jokes do not belong together. If you say so you will get less of the ripe jokes. But you haven’t rid me of them, you have rid yourself of them; and part of me will always be careful when we are visiting. You will not find all of me to befriend. I have not yet visited a church that stretches far enough to fit.
I should have disregarded my convention to finish that thought. I don’t mean that a church ought to conform to my image until I am comfortable. But when I am holding back routinely in order to avoid causing offense, not in deference on daily incidentals but conforming to a presumed shared standard (which is not in fact shared), we can cross from deference to dishonesty.