Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tough Skin

Tonight I preached for the first time at church.  I feel like I have to say that again in order too actually believe it : Tonight I preached for the first time.  
First thing I want to say is that I had a rockin' time.  I truly believe before I say anything else that this is my calling in life.  I felt like a niche was filled in the world. I felt that almost I was incredibly nervous I felt like I was in my element.  
I WILL continue to work towards this destiny, not necessarily viewing it as a destiny but as a journey that I hope never ends. 
With that being said, I would prefer to discuss tough skin.  After I got off the stage, and sat down I received hugs from two women whom I respect and love both of which told me I did a great job.  After we prayed, I moved to go sit with my four friends who came to see me preach. They all hugged me and told me I did a great job.  
I went to small group and once again I was told good job.  After small group I was told I did a good job.  But this is where the tough skin comes in.  I began to talk to more people like my brother and the youth group leader and some other friends. They began to tell me I moved my hands to much. Said umm and ehh too much.  "Could tell that I was nervous". 
It is among this group of friends that we have the saying "iron sharpens iron" and there is nothing in my being that wants to deny that.  There is nothing in my being that doesn't want me to continuously get better.  
My friend, Cody, in high school once told me that the song that most reminded him of me was "Sensitive" by Jewel.  I believed then just as I believe now that this song truly announces everything within my being. 
I am very sensitive.  I dont necessarily dislike this about myself, but I do not want it to hinder my ability to take constructive criticism.  
Before I started my sermon, during the worship time, I prayed that I might lose myself so that all my insecurities, my fears, and my ambitions. I wanted an out of body experience. A place where my skin was removed and  I prayed that his sermon would not be something of myself (being of the world), but something of the divine with my lips merely being administrator.  
I suppose that as I walked off that stage, I took back on my flesh. I took back up all my insecurities and fears of inadequacies.  I took back up my own ambitions.  
These things that I were hearing I was taking them to my heart. They cut like knives through my skin in which I have already told you was sensitive and although the kind words were like lotion to my skin it simply made it easier for the knifes to skin me.  Wow a little bit dramatic. Im honestly just trying to be descriptive. 
I am looking at this from two different ways. I believe that in tie perhaps my calluses will build that my sensitive "skin" will grown tough and thick so that I can take what I am to learn and run with it rather than dwell on what is said to the death.
The more likely of the scenarios is that comments will continue to soften my skin.  One pretty cool guy once said that God never puts us anywhere to stay but that he is constantly calling us to move and be moved. We are made uncomfortable so that we may continue to make strides and create change in this world. 
Perhaps my skin was made the way it is so that I can grow deeper rather than thicker. So that I may grow stronger rather than less sensitive. 
I don't know a lot of things, but I do know that I'm not going anywhere, preacherwomen and men! I am hear to speak truth, create change, call for justice, act humbly, and work for a world of good and justice.  
Skin or no skin,  Im bringing the word, living the truth, and loving them all. 


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