I grew up caring about a lot. Maybe too much. Always the martyr, always the bleeding heart, always the rescuer. When my baby brother was in the doctor’s office as a newborn getting his first shots I valiantly kicked the nurse in the shin as retribution for making him cry. When I was seven, I wrote a letter to the Disney channel because the dinosaur show they were airing only included the scientific theory of evolution and didn’t also include Christian Creationism and I thought both should be equally represented. This is who I am. If you know anything about the Myers Briggs personality inventory, then you probably know your own type. I am an ENFP…the Champion Idealist. I can’t NOT care. It’s in my DNA. I want equality, fairness, justice, and harmony. And my heart isn’t settled unless I am working towards bringing about those things, surrounded by others who are doing the same.
I turned 33 last fall. In some ways I am happier and healthier that I’ve been in my entire life. My friendships are beautiful and bring me joy, I’m in the best health of my life, our family is experiencing financial freedom, I’m reinvigorating a career, and my loved ones are healthy and thriving. My inner circle looks and feels safe and wonderful, and I am so incredibly grateful. And yet. *Sigh.* And yet there’s a dark corner of my heart that I try and shy away from when I’m on social media or playing with my kids or trying to fall asleep at night. That corner houses the heartbreak for our world and the pity and disgust I feel for its people. It’s a full corner, growing bigger and taking up more room. And I try and stay out of it because “who needs another bleeding heart liberal”, right? Who needs another white Christian who “obviously doesn’t read her Bible” because there she is ranting about feminism and the LGBTQ community again? The answer is actually simple. Nobody. Nobody needs me. It’s true, and I’m not saying that with even the slightest hint of self-deprecation. This world will go on with or without my contribution. God’s sovereignty will continue, free-will will reign, and the motivations and desires of the people will continue to shape our world until we have fully exploited its gift.
But there’s that corner. That ugly, angry corner. In it I feel lonely and afraid. Outside of it, focused on my happy little world…I still feel lonely and afraid. Because the world might not need me, but I need me. I need my truth. I deserve my truth. And if God created my heart to ache for humanity and for His creation in every capacity, then who I am to hide that away in the recesses? Who am I to be ashamed for my heart? When I make chit chat over coffee talking about everything else but that scary, angry corner of my heart I am lying to myself and to my loved ones. I’m denying a piece of me that isn’t just politics, or religion, or philosophy…it’s me. The Church might not want me. I’m too “liberal” for most. And the agnostic left might not want me either…I believe in God and a Holy Savior, after all. For the folks online on the Backyard Chickens site I’m just another “liberal city girl trying to be a farmer” because I refuse to get a gun. It’s easy to tell myself that I don’t really belong anywhere, but I know I do. We all do. I belong to me. And I belong to my people and to my God. And even there sometimes I’m an outcast, but I think that what I’ve come to is that I’d rather be an outcast with my truth than snuggly and safe with a giant lie.
So here’s to the scared, sad, bleeding hearts. Here’s to being that annoying person on Facebook who posts article after article because you just want someone to see and to care. And here’s to living your truth in community or in loneliness, because you refuse to compromise your heart. I wish you great peace and pray that the world embraces your contribution.