My Image

A few posts ago, I wrote some unpleasant things about myself. I suppose one way of looking at it could be to view me as a dangerous madman. I imagine some people do. I very badly wanted to take the post down, as I was worried for my image, especially as I’m meeting a lot of new people now and have been thinking of telling them about my blog. I keep coming back to something said by one of my closest friends.

A good story

“The best kind of story is one that makes you look like an a—hole and God look as amazing as He really is.” The man who said that to me that knows well what he’s talking about. He’s on a sex offender list, which means that many people, probably especially his neighbors, know nothing about him except that he did something awful at some point. Some would then be surprised to hear that he is one of the more righteous people I know. I actually befriended him because his sin was public and I know what a cross to bear that is. Pretty much everything awful I’ve done is well known to the point that when I make new friends, they find out about all of it. In the years of my friendship with this man, he has consistently been a voice of wisdom and godly love. Even as I have moved a very different direction from him in theology, he has always been a good influence on my thinking in spiritual matters.
So what use is this? I spoke of another dear friend recently at his wedding. Actually, I accidentally spoke too harshly because people did not understand my point. I said he has need to apologize often and has gotten extremely good at it. In my mind, this was the highest praise because we all sin horribly all the time, and my friend has become a master of making things right. I like to think that while I have done some pretty awful things, the Lord has used even those failings as a way to encourage others and inspire recovery and faith in people. I suppose some might inspire others by being righteous and amazing, but if I’m going to inspire anyone it’s going to be as an empty vessel that the Holy Spirit fills with grace in a weird way. It was horrible suffering and oftentimes horrible sins that were on my path to being a peer support specialist. As a peer support, I was able to affect hundreds if not thousands of lives for the better, every time by sharing my own struggle and the victories I had in it. The victories, like all good things, came from above, just as Saint James, the brother of Jesus, said.

So this is sometimes the struggle of a peer support. How much to share and how will making this public affect me? In the end, I suppose I have decided to be a public fool. I always did appreciate Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg.
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