My blog has never been like a Facebook soundbite. Or a 140 character Twitter reaction. I always try to measure my rants. This has always been that place where my heart meets the keyboard for good. For the good of my church family. For the good of my extended circle of friends. For the good of those who sit in the opposite corner. And certainly for the good of my little slice of family posterity.
I have anticipated this day for quite a while. I’ve actually written a number of times but never hit “publish”. I’ve missed the personal cleansing I find in writing. I’ve missed knowing that we were connecting..with or without your comments. I’ve missed the discipline of weighing out my words and carefully expressing them.
Eleven months ago, my oldest son got sick. Really sick. There were certainly people who knew we were going through this as a family, although only those in our closest circle knew the story…and even those didn’t know the intimate details. It has been a journey of pain and fear and hope. After two major surgeries (and one more minor one to go), his road to recovery gets better every day.
There were days I wanted…no, I needed to write, but the only thing I could bring myself to write about were the events of my son’s journey. So I didn’t. It was his story, not mine, to tell. Many days it overwhelmed me…and I wasn’t even the one going through it! There is no doubt it took an emotional toll on me.
This “dad” thing doesn’t end when they move out of the house. It doesn’t end when they get married and grow a family of their own. Just like any dad who loves and cares, I wished I could exchange places with him. I wanted to protect. I wanted to fix. I wanted to make it all go away. But I couldn’t. So I prayed and helped where I could and did what dads do.
And so I wrote privately. Sorry.
There were other issues that affected my writing hiatus. Our world has been full of a lot of big ticket items over the past year. World changing…culture shocking…anger inducing…polarizing kinds of things. And it seems like everybody’s talking. Everybody’s got an opinion, a sermon, a post, an op-ed, or some kind of prophectic declaration.
Mine was not needed.
Loyalties have been declared. Battle lines have been drawn. Brothers have turned against brothers. My “side” on issues need not be declared, unless it’s one-on-one, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, over a basket of chips and salsa. Because there, the reality of true brotherhood will win the day.
For now, if you want my take on same-sex marriage, Caitlyn Jenner, Planned Parenthood, racial tension, the police, gun control, the Confederate flag, immigration reform, the war on terror, homosexuality, the race for President, the economy, and the like…you can have it. Personally. Prayerfully. Mixed with kindness, understanding, and openness.
But it’s not for public consumption right now. Maybe later. Until then, it will only be shared in a place where we can know each other’s hearts, ask questions of depth and clarity, and have time to pause for the affirmation and joy of our relationship, when our differences become apparent.
And we can take time to refill the basket of chips.
So call me up, invite me out, respect my journey, encourage me to be open to new ideas. Healthy conversation is the oxygen of healthy friendship. (I’ll even do it by email…though the sharing of chips will have to be virtual.)
These are two of the reasons I haven’t written. There were others. Maybe I’ll write about them at another time. For tonight, though, it feels really good to be back.