First thing that stops me? Shame.
If I haven’t come to terms with the breathings, the sorrows, the gut-wrenching sobs of my heart, I’m sure not going to put them out there for someone to peer at, poke at, and maybe make it worse.
Next thing that stops me? Reputation.
Yeah, I know Jesus made himself to be of no reputation (Phillipians 2:7 KJV), but I’m not Jesus. I don’t have that kind of confidence, fortitude. I know how to live with how others see me now, but I don't know if I could live with a different reputation.
Still, when I think about it, I do live with a reputation different from the one I used to live with. It changed gradually as the breathings of my heart were changed.
I used to see this world through eyes of depression and hopelessness.
Today I see through the eyes of Jesus, with hope, faith, and love.
Even on low days, I can thank him for a new morning that holds the potential of purpose, his purpose. My life has meaning because I see him use me, use my past, my pain, my growth, to sometimes touch others.
You see, Jesus is in me, and Jesus gave over his reputation to his Father. That means my reputation is in the Father’s hands as well.
A while back I began to take a chance. In wee little steps, with blog posts, presentations, articles, stories and eventually a book, I started to pull away the drapery that held my breathings close and safe and protected.
At first, I let them out in little puffs of air.
Most people walked by and didn’t even notice. That was encouraging, to tell you the truth. My writings weren’t as noticeable, as powerful as I thought they would be.
Then I saw some people catch a whiff of that puff coming from behind my curtain. I’m not sure what scent it held for them, but a few turned, paid attention. Some even stopped to inhale a little more deeply. And occasionally a few stayed long enough to share the breathing of their own hearts.
This happens more often now. Sometimes their breathing, in the form of comments, doesn’t harmonize with mine. While I may be sending out lavender, they’re responding with stink-weed; not quite the bouquet I want on my kitchen table, but it does mean people are thinking, considering, questioning. And that’s all it might take - just a breathing in their own heart for the Holy Spirit to catch onto, mould, inspire, and fill with God’s love.
Breathing in public is risky, but without breath, our words are dead. We can do this, Word Warriors. Start with a puff.