*This is a post from September 2009 when I was writing for a blog called Black Sheep...
So this is hello…
It’s possible we have met before but I won’t pretend that you remember. I have a tendency to blend in and look as if I belong in nearly any setting; call me a chameleon. What sets me apart and makes me memorable is when I open up in dialogue. It is then that I become something completely different, someone without many close friends, a person with deep seated convictions that run contrary to so many of the people I blend in with.
I am a leader.
My positions are numerous but I will do my best to sum up this person you now see before you. I am the oldest of four, the leader of the pack from a psychological perspective, the alpha male. I am the only person in my immediate family with a college degree. I say this because I seek to rationalize the chasm that exists between me and my sibs. There is much distance between us and it is not only miles. My faith has exposed a wicked difference in the midst of those with whom I share a blood relation.
I am a follower.
My faith is central to who I am and all those who know me understand that. I make no apologies for my understanding of scripture but instead listen close to how others interpret Jesus’ words so that I might glean further. As I dig further into the red letters of the New Testament I am moved to not only be like Jesus but to understand the minds and hearts of those who were closest to him at the time. I want to grab a hold of what went through the mind of Peter. I want to listen like John. Mostly I want to fully grasp what it means to deny myself.
I am a liberal.
Politics are one of those topics that can turn a good conversation into a mind numbing waste of one’s time. For better or worse we are all subject to politics of some sort. Whether we are talking about national stories like healthcare or we are talking about the next youth pastor at the church we attend and the troubles they may face with the existing staff, politics are a part of our everyday lives one way or another. Unlike most of my contemporaries and peers, I am not a Republican. For the sake of disclosure, I am also not a Democrat. It is important to define the word liberal first and then understand that I am a Diplomat.
I am a husband and a father.
My family is next in line after Jesus. Under this header I am also a coach, a mentor, a teacher and a best friend. I find great joy being all of those things; this is where my heart is often.
I am a black sheep.
I have been ostracized because of my public distaste for the Christian Right. I have been ridiculed because of my position against war. I have been questioned for trying to bring tough topics to the table and opening up these dialogues to atheists and agnostics. I have been outcast just because of the way I have voted in the past, especially when I admitted that I had not voted for G W Bush. I have been pushed away because of my faith.
This is who I am in a nutshell. I will ask hard questions and demand an answer. I will push the very edge of the envelope. I will not toe the line. I am hungry for debate but believe it or not, I am desperate for your side of the story. I will not suppress this Jesus who lives in me.
This is hello.
My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.