Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Time I Got Yelled at on Twitter

One Sunday morning, I logged onto Twitter to see what the haps was, and saw that I'd been mentioned by a humanist Twitter account--not just mentioned, but called out as the "a$$hole of the week," because of a blog post I'd written (www.christianitytoday.com/women/2013/september/why-we-dont-need-sexual-healing.html). It was about sex and about Jesus and about my convictions, and an atheist blogger at Patheos had written a response to it entitled:

"Christian Writer Argues Against Disabled People Having Sexual Surrogates Because, You Know, Jesus"

(By the way, in France, where it's most recently been discussed, sexual surrogacy has been banned, because, according to them, ya know, ethics.)

Anyway, said humanist tweeter read the Patheos article (a lot of people read the Patheos article) and then chose me as her weekly @$$hole shout-out. Last week, she chose DragonCon cosplayers (I don't know what that means) who dressed up as Marriott carpeting and got a cease-and-desist from the carpet designer. 

What I'm saying is, I'm in good company. 

This whole shebang came as a bleary-eyed surprise to me. When I found the tweet, and the blog, I was halfway through my first cup of coffee and dear Lord I needed more, but I'd woken up anxious already and I was trying to keep myself from overcaffeinating for the 120000th day in a row. So to discover, one hour into awakesville, that the internet was feeling a bit stabby at me, was a bit of a shock. I'm not going to lie, I hid in my apartment. For the rest of the day.  

I'm not sure if I was waiting for villagers with pitchforks or what, exactly, but I sat quietly on my couch, checking my phone every couple of minutes to make sure no one else hated found me. I went to a hot yoga class that afternoon in hopes that it would get some of the anxious out of me, but as I spoke to a few of the women in the locker room beforehand, I thought to myself, If you knew where I stood on certain issues, you would hate me. JUST ASK THE INTERNET. 

I'm super sensible in my thoughts. 

It's been two days, and nothing else has happened. No one has shown up at my door to ream me out and no one has threatened me with a sharp object, and, as it would turn out, the internet actually hates a lot of people.

But as I've been processing everything, what's stuck out to me the most has been the title of the Patheos post. The writer, Hemant, is a smart guy. He's a math teacher, and he's actually nearby. He teaches in a suburb of Chicago. I currently live in a suburb of Chicago, and I've lived in about a million other suburbs of Chicago, and I could have driven past this guy a thousand times and never met him. If we had met, we might even be friends. Honestly, he seems like a nice guy, and I think he's kind of funny.

So I'm not going to talk about him. I'm not going to argue with him. 

What I will talk about, a little bit, is this phrase: 

"Because, You Know, Jesus"

Because that's where everything changes.

For Hemant, "Because, you know, Jesus," sounds like a cop out. It sounds like a magical loophole that allows me to boss everyone else around and pretend to be super holy and offer up a catch-all that makes everything I say okay. It sounds like a pretend reason for people to think I'm right. 

But because, you know, Jesus died for this world while they hated him, the truth about me is this. 

I'm wrong. A LOT.
I sin. A LOT.
I get anxious. Good heavens. A LOT. 
And then I sin some more. 

I'm imperfect. I'm undeserving.

But because Jesus loves my stupid self, I'm going to be okay. 

Because Jesus, I have hope. 

Because Jesus, I'm saved. 

Because Jesus, decades of destructive decisions from my heritage have been broken. 

And because Jesus, I've been protected from millions of decisions that could have easily destroyed me. Decisions that I would have made. I could have made. 

Y'all, on my own, I'm an absolute disaster. But because Jesus has claimed me as his daughter, I'm saved by grace--undeserved, gifted, and free. And I want that for everyone, because that is the sweetest gift we can ever give.

So, that's where I'm at now. I'm thankful for this experience, because it's made me think more and more about how vastly different my life is because Jesus took a hold of me. It's made me think more about the ways that I will be despised because of my faith, and about how that's okay. Because Jesus suffered on the Cross, because he came to this earth to save the lost and the sinners, because he continues to pull me out of sin and shame, because he loves each of us so deeply and truly--because of Jesus, all else fades. What this world thinks of me doesn't matter, because Jesus will continue to be my reason for everything. 

He came to earth as a radical. He didn't make any sense to this world, and the Pharisees hated him for it. He spoke in love, but he spoke in truth. He loved those twelve morons who followed him around, and when he was arrested and they abandoned him, he kept loving them.  

And I love Jesus because he's impossible to feel medium about. He's either the Savior of the world, or the biggest liar, the most horrible human, that's ever walked this earth.    

I am crazy in love with Jesus, and the more I write about him, the more I realize it. So yeah. Because Jesus, this world is going to look a little different to me sometimes. Sometimes, it's going to look a lot different. 

Because, you know. Jesus.