I have been wading in the blog world for almost six months now. Most days this is a little like plunging my feet in scented water for a spa pedicure. I emerge refreshed. Sometimes it’s more like one of those tubs on the sidewalks in Cambodia, the ones with the fish that will nibble the dead skin off your feet for one dollar and, as the signs claim, “Make You Funny.” I get my chuckle for the day. But some days it’s like a shark tank.
That’s because of the tension.
There are the bloggers with a serious case of the lovelies, the ones who showcase their children and their homes and their parties. Who saturate the heck out of their photographs and pour on the charm. Who don’t mean to, but who make me feel inadequate and unshiny.
Then there are the writers who feel it is their God-given right to strip the very skin off their words and serve them raw. The ones who beat their chests and rail at everything that’s wrong with the world. Sometimes they jolt me awake to things I needed to hear. But sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I cannot find a redeeming purpose in these tirades.
I read, and a tug of war commences in my head. But blogs did not invent this tension. They simply reflect a fact of life.
As a follower of Jesus, I’ve swung from military-like obedience to free-falling grace. I’ve read the Bible as research and as rescue for my soul. I’ve saved money and given it away. I’ve made purely Spirit-driven decisions and purely rational ones. As a wife, I struggle to be submissive and to maintain my own identity. I’ve been silent and I’ve spewed. As a mom, well, the tensions start early and proliferate quickly. Breastfeed or bottle? Rock to sleep or cry it out? Spank or time out? Homeschool or public? Christian school or homeschool? Don’t even get me started on teenagers. Wise people have plenty to say on both sides of all of these issues. Especially now that they can blog.
I wrote this post in my head at the precise spot on my run where, just last week, I watched a group of Nepali boys strike the overhanging branches of apple trees with sticks and gather the fruit in their shirts. Today, all that remained of that happy scene were flattened, rotting apples that, steamed by hot asphalt and rain, smelled like the dregs of hard cider… in bottles in our recycling bin… after two weeks. I could not escape the smell, even when I ran to the other side of the road.
What’s lovely one day can rot the next. We cannot escape this truth. Tension is a pervasive odor suffused into the atmosphere of life, every single life.
Let me point out that tension is not the same thing as polarity. We polarize when we stand on our far end of the tension and insist that others join us there. When we moralize our side and demonize the other. I’m appalled at how many preachers do this. Polarity wounds. Tension just is.
So what do we do with tension? I’m tempted to close my laptop when the words on the screen feed that awkward feeling I already have in my gut. But we all know denial is a sorry fix.
I think what we need to make the tensions bearable is a tesseract.
Read the rest of Kitti's post here