We have become a culture of statements.
Jewelry is no longer called a simple "necklace" but a "statement piece."
A couch is no longer a place to sit your butt, but has to also "make a statement."
Our cars, our homes, our clothes, friends, where we eat, the beer we drink have become statements about who we are.
And our 140 characters, parsed statements become our summation of how the world should operate. When news hits, we jump on Facebook or Twitter to essentially release a statement on the event... with the same pomp and air of authority as a government official or chancellor of a university. Sometimes we share the words of others because we want to make a statement, but not carry responsibility for the weight or veracity of such words.
We are told to constantly project who we are, to live authentically, and yet we wonder why we feel so unseen. I'm guilty of this too.
But I tell you what -- these "statements" are no more poignant or an honest representation of our worth than foul gas is a representation of a meal. Usually it is unwelcome, thankfully it is fleeting, and likely bears little resemblance to the soul of the meal.
What we need are conversations. (And don't get me started on "conversation pieces". Yes, I've watched too much HGTV lately). We need hugs, unassuming dinners in each other's homes, and vulnerability. We need to see beyond the physical attire, hear deeper than the audible words, and listen to the heart. We need more than gestures. More than slogans on t-shirts.
As someone who claims to follow Jesus, I need to remember that I don't need to project who I am onto culture. I don't need to find the right words so that I both bring healing and maintain an image of someone "who gets it." It's not about me, I can't comprehend all things. I'm just not that smart. I can't heal all the hurts. Jesus can. I don't need a podium, because what wisdom do I have apart from God's? No matter how much noise I am making or how quiet I have become, I am seen by God who calls me His beloved daughter. My life has already been validated, and the only statement I need to be making is that salvation has come, and God loves you too.
Jesus made a lot of statements, but what He gave was His life. His statements were followed by love. His words brought life. His words forgave and reconciled. His words have not lost their potency in the changing tides of culture. His words are beautiful and they cut deeply.
Yes, this blog post is a long statement. But for me, getting words out onto the screen is a way to call myself out, to release myself from a race I was never called to run.