I felt cold in a place that is usually protected from air, from cold and from exposure. I thought, “Oh, no.” My pants had ripped. It is unnerving to be exposed. A hole in one’s crotch may go unnoticed by others but I felt unsafe, undressed and unprotected. I wasn’t naked yet I felt that way. We prefer protected and private lives. Being open and exposed opens one up to benefits and downfalls.
James tells the church to “confess your sins to one another.” To which we respond, “What?” The movie’s hardly begun and James has the main man handicapped with imperfection. I know that’s not the self I choose to project; the fallen, imperfect, not-at-all-together self. No! I want you to see the perfect self. Heck, I want to be the perfect person. Instead my mistakes and dark-hearted failures flicker against my movie screen mind in an ever running film. James is adamant though; we are a sinful people and we must confess them. To God, right? Yes but also to one another.
If you do this, says James, healing will come. That’s the hook, the hope for a happy ending. The process calls me to be vulnerable. I scream out—that’s not me. I want safe. I want protected. I feel the cold air and it frightens me. I sense that the hero must suffer. The treasure’s stored in a vessel that must be cracked to get at the gold.
I located some duct tape and made a weak patch for my pants. I spent the day guarded. I made small moves and didn’t bend. Yet God tells us that it’s in our laying open that healing begins. Now we make small moves toward openness. We seek solid safe relationships and we share life; grainy, stop-and-start lives on a messy screen. We put it out there trusting that this isn’t going to be a one act, one-fix thing. We’re in it for the long haul. We’re shooting for healing, trust and openness not some temporary fix that keeps us cowering in the dark.