I’m loving these Five Minute Fridays. Each week, Lisa-Jo Baker (http://lisajobaker.com) chooses a word prompt and people write unedited for five minutes flat. The idea is for me to get out of my own way and just write without the burden of perfection. It’s been fun to meet other bloggers and see the different ways people go with the prompt. Anyone can be a part of the action, so maybe you want to try and link up sometime soon?

Five Minute Friday

Courage

Courage (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

Prompt: Brave

One of my friends, a curly-haired henna head, is a gifted artist and performer. She says and does things that other people would never dream of doing. For her, it is no big deal to get in front of people and say outrageous things that are both hilarious and inappropriate (maybe that’s why they are so funny?).

Another friend is quiet and reserved. She serves behind the scenes and avoids any extra attention. She’s thoughtful and considerate.

What might send my one friend thrills of excitement would send my other friend to the bathroom with dry heaves.

Here is a good general principle I’ve found: what is a brave step for one person is easily accomplished before breakfast for someone else. Courage comes when you push past fear to do the thing that scares you.

Putting the pen to paper may be a huge step of bravery for one person.

Saying aloud the question they’ve had in their minds may be that step for someone else.

Just opening a search for a new job may be a huge act of faith, regardless of whether an interview is ever secured.

For me, today, my act of bravery is to say aloud that as a Christian, I do not have all the answers. I’m starting to think that the Bible might not have something literal to say about every single aspect of the nuances of modern life.

I do not feel comfortable with the representation the loudest voices are making on my behalf.

I’m tired of hearing about “speaking the truth in love” to people with whom there is no relationship, which would give the slightest responsibility to speak that truth.

I’m tired of the Church being a force of marginalization, polarization and alienation.

I want to be a source of absurd grace, which I truly see in the example of Jesus. So why does it feel like an act of bravery to say that out loud? Maybe it is because the Church only lets grace apply to certain areas of life and not others. Maybe there is an unspoken understanding that there really is a hierarchy of sins, and that some acts are worse than others. So your act of homosexuality, abortion or being a female leader takes up more of the apparently exhaustible bounty of Christ’s grace than my selfishness, envy or gossip. Don’t bogart the grace, man. Is that really what we believe? Cause that’s what it looks like. God’s love is not a limited commodity.

Whew. Well, that came out of nowhere! Thanks for letting me share from the heart. Apparently this is what happens when I silence my inner editor/censor. Putting this out into the world really does scare me, but I am being brave today, hoping we can start a respectful conversation.

What is your reaction to this post? Do you have opinions or feelings about “absurd grace” or the idea of a hierarchy of sins? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. And as always, thanks for reading! 

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