An event occurred in my parish in mid-December. I was completely at fault. I used my voice (on Facebook) to bash a fellow parishioner, whom I did not name; but the FB friends in my parish knew of whom I was speaking.
It was cruel of me. And it came out of a place of arrogance. As if I were some special arbiter of Truth, Justice, and the Anglican Way. As if I could decide who was “worthy” in my parish.
Lord, have mercy.
A classically educated student of literature, I know all about hubris. Problem is: I didn’t see it growing in myself.
Until it exploded in my face.
I had been a relatively successful blogger here and over at The Episcopal Majority. Folks I respected deeply were listening to me, and I was honored to engage in dialogue with them – honored to count them as colleagues … as brothers and sisters. I was delighted to be working alongside them.
But something happened late last fall. Was it because I had been in “the fight” so long – particularly since GC06? Was it because my diocese did me the deep honor of electing me a Deputy to General Convention? Was it my blog site stats?
I don’t know. But I fell prey to hubris, and maligned a brother in the parish.
I recognized the next day that I had gone “over the top.” I have talked with my rector about the spiritual dimensions of this matter … and the communal dimensions, as well.
I lost my voice. I developed Blogger’s Laryngitis. As you have seen here in my silence since mid-December.
I have become so afraid of hubris and arrogance that I have been unable to offer anything – not opinions, not analysis, not anything.
Today – on the last Sunday after the Epiphany, where we heard of Moses’ meeting with God and Jesus’ transfiguration – I am offering this all up to God. I want to be transformed. I think I have had some useful things to say in the past, and you have encouraged the best part of me in that.
I thought about just killing this blog, but I hope I still have some things to say. I just need the discernment to find which warrant saying.
I want to offer thanks especially to Maria who has tried, in many ways and for many weeks, to encourage me to find my authentic voice and get back to blogging. It’s my fault that it has taken me so long. And you can’t blame her if I screw up again! :-)
Many preachers preface their sermons with this prayer:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.Perhaps I should use that in my blogging work.
Dear friends, please pray that I can be the kind of blogger that I am supposed to me ... that I intended to be. Mind you, I don’t think of blogging as self-absorption. I set out with the goal that this blog would be a kind of ministry. Join me in praying that I may use the prophet’s voice (when that’s what is needed) and the Comforter’s voice (when that’s what’s needed) and the analyst’s voice (when that’s needed), and that I will always remember my baptismal covenant when I write here.
I may not always be wise or insightful … though I wish I could be. I may not often be witty … though that is my frequent wish. But I pray I will never be cruel. Perhaps most of all, I pray that God will help me find the right “voice” here and give me the courage and humility to use it.
As we move toward Ash Wednesday, many people are thinking about what they will “give up” for Lent. I find myself moving in the opposite direction. I find myself thinking about what I might “offer up” for Lent. And since words have been my gift for most of my life, perhaps I will offer up those words to God for my Lenten discipline.
We shall see.
Please pray for me, my brothers and sisters.