Seattle — Day 69: Something More Than “Deep Talk”
Reflections — I sometimes wonder about the lasting effects of this blog, and the possible effects it has had, and that it will have when all is said and done with my time at Seattle. I wonder if your life as a reader has been impacted at all, and if it hasn’t, I’m genuinely curious why not, and why you perhaps kept reading. Curiosity is a marvelous thing. Killing cats for generations.
I guess what I want to know is whether this blog has changed your perception of me, your writer. I wonder if everything that you’ve read about me, in my reflections, daily life, principles, theology, and the medley of other things has helped you understand a bit more about who I am as a person, and where I am in my walk with Jesus Christ right now. I wonder if these posts have helped you understand how truly weak I am, and foolish I am, so that you would know that I truly am, no different than you, and that you and I are walking towards the same prize. I wonder if when you think about me, do you think about me as a brother in Christ? Do you consider me someone that genuinely pushes you closer to Jesus? as one that encourages you in your weakness? rebukes you in your error? comforts you in your sorrow? rejoices with you in your victories? reminds you of Jesus Christ? Perhaps not to this extent, yet.
As I’ve received feedback about the blog as a whole, I’ve been very encouraged through a particular response, yet at the same time, immensely sorrowful. This response is one that’s come from many people and fits somewhere along the lines of — Thank you for sharing about your life in such a vulnerable fashion. It’s been refreshing and honestly convicting because what you’ve been sharing is so much deeper and personal than most conversations I have. Now if you’re someone that’s messaged or told me this, please hear me out and reflect before you continue reading. 1) I am incredibly encouraged and have been spurred to continue writing these blog posts on days that I did not want to by remembering your words, and remembering the very purpose why I blog in general, that being so that my family of Livingwater and others who care to partake in this journey with me as well can vicariously be apart of my life. 2) I’m thankful, and oh so grateful that you shared this with me. Thank you for being vulnerable with me in private and being honest with how the blog has been affecting you. Seriously. However, in light of all this, I would like to point something out. Though it’s incredible that you have been encouraged and challenged by my writings, please note that there is a major issue when the most substantial “conversations” you are having are through blog posts.
Now this isn’t specifically directed at any who have messaged me, but as a challenge to all of us, especially me. How much of our conversations are actually substantial? How often do we talk about topics that actually matter when were with our “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ? It’s incredible how so often we meet to “fellowship” or to gather and yet, none of the conversation is edifying, encouraging, or rather not even beneficial at most. I remember when I was in high school and when the majority of conversations I would have with “brothers in Christ” would be about video games, NBA basketball, and school work. Not were not talking about purpose, ethics, or anything like that. All we would talk about is literally the surface level of any of these things. We wouldn’t be having engaging conversations about the benefits of these activities, the purpose by which we should persist in our education, or how we could use basketball to glorify the Lord. No it was simply, a “hey did you watch the game dude? Nice man. Yeah dude, Kobe dropped like 46 points man. Crazy stuff. Also, I just got the new Call of Duty bro! You should come over and we can play it together.” Even our “deep” conversations would be a simple, “dude do you like that girl? Why do you like her?” Albeit, this was when I was 16, but to be honest, that wasn’t very long ago. I thought back in the day deep and intimate conversations were all about who we liked or thought was cute. How shallow to just be very, very frank.
It’s astounding to me because this is still the majority of conversations that many of us have today, just in a slightly different way so that we don’t make it as blatantly obvious. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with brothers and they whip out the phrase, “All right let’s get serious,” only to just ask the question, “so who do you like bro?” Isn’t life about so much more than marriage, dating, and sex? My goodness. It’s incredibly frustrating to be honest. So much conversations that we even have with our closest friends is so empty, full of talk but no substance, or perhaps, there’s not much talking at all. We ask each other how classes are, or how church was not because we genuinely care about the person and how classes have been affecting their walk with Jesus, or how the Lord encountered them at church, but simply because we just got use to this pattern of whipping out lazy, slothful small talk filler questions. We simply just ask things to get an answer, not even trying to listen or think about how to pray for the person as they share, and only asking really because we live with them so there’s an obligated sense of knowing someone to a certain extent, or because we’re in an activity with them so we attempt to make conversation so that things won’t be “awkward.” How selfish. How incredibly selfish you are Peter Lee.
I want to speak to any who are reading this blog post that I personally know and have a relationship with as a friend and brother in Christ. I deeply apologize for all the times I simply asked a question because of the social norm to engage in a conversation as to uphold a societal face, and not because I genuinely cared about the classes you were taking, or the kind of semester you were having. I’m genuinely sorry for not reaching my hand out and asking how you’re doing when I saw that your disposition was different, or when I heard that you were struggling, simply because I was so self-consumed and selfish that I couldn’t give you a couple minutes, an hour of my time to comfort and encourage you. I’m sorry to my closest brothers who walk, cry, pray, strive for the Lord with me, you know who you are. I’m sorry for not being 100% engaged in our conversations every time we speak, or not making intentional time for you consistently, trying to run away from accountability in moments where my own depravity seems insurmountable. Forgive me. I know of all these things to hold true because I have forgotten so much. I forgot what that sister told me when you shared with me how enjoyable certain classes were for you, or the difficulty of being in the particular extracurricular activity for a specific brother. I have forgotten it all, and if I cared, if I loved you, I would’ve remembered. I would’ve kept praying for you, kept asking you for updates, continued to stay intentional with you, yet I haven’t. I’ve failed you so dearly.
This isn’t about perfection and condemnation in my failures. I’m so powerfully redeemed by the cross, and washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. I’m not sitting here in a shame fest, weeping in guilt because of how much I’ve messed up. But rather, I stand here in the confidence of the cross knowing who I am before Jesus, and therefore, having the ability to weep before the Lord, over how I have failed the body of Christ, and the Lord. Let’s stop throwing this fake grace around. I’ve failed so many members of my church, and so have you. Don’t pull the: “It’s okay” card. Stand up, own it. Own the fact that you sinned, you’ve failed so many people. You’ve messed up bad with so many relationships, friendships, mentorships. You’ve been trying to just shove it all under a rug saying, Oh I haven’t failed anyone. Psh. It’s okay there’s grace. PLEASE! That’s not how grace works. Rather it’s accepting the fact that you’ve failed ten thousand times over, yet Christ’s redemption still remains the same for you.
I’ve messed up, but I’m willing, and prepared to keep pressing on in the process of learning what it means to love the body of Christ, to be a mentor, to be a student, to be a friend, to be a brother of Christ. This is what this blog has been all about. It’s about helping you understand that I’m a sinner. I’m a fool. I’m someone that has failed you. I’m pitiful. Yet, there is grace for me, and if for me, then for you as well. I can’t wait to see you all. 15 days.
I’m always running scared through and endless night.
The moon is just a memory, her and her fabled light.
But when I close my eyes sometimes I dare to dream,
But I’m sure nobody cares for me,
No one’s there with me in the darkness.
Sometimes I’ll howl a tune to hear it echo back,
Then clutch it like some ancient rune to ward off the black.
But when the wolves join in I hold my breath and shake,
’Cause I’m sure nobody cares for me,
No one’s there with me in the darkness.
But now I’m standing here beneath that great abyss,
Staring up I feel my legs give way, I feel a ghostly kiss.
I hear the hidden stars sing out the one true myth,
Their singing that you care for me,
And you’re there with me in the darkness.
Prayer Requests —
Please pray that the Lord would use this blog powerfully in the final days of its life haha, and that He would simply help me love the community of Christ. I need to learn to love the body.