translucency

Translucent - 1. permitting the passage of light: a: clear, transparent; b: transmitting and diffusing light so that objects beyond cannot be seen clearly 2. free from disguise or falseness

A friend of mine claimed he was being translucent the other day - to which I said, "sigh - define translucent." He laughed at the bold sigh, and said: "Translucent is a state that allows only certain light to pass through, either creating a tint to our perception or a distortion of the original image passing through. Stained glass is a great example of glass that is translucent."

This word makes me think of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 13:12 - "For now we see in a mirror, dimly..." I love the Message version of this verse: "We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!"

And "translucency" expresses so well the lighting in my "spiritual environment" at the moment. There's something I'm missing, a way in which I'm seeing true objects/concepts in a slightly distorted fashion. Some of it is beautifully lit - blues and purples casting fun patterns on wooden pews and stone floors... and some of it is just bizarre - weird shades of green and yellow that almost make you feel ill...

I had a weird experience last night. I was spending time with a group of people I love deeply, and with whom I am generally pretty open... and last night, I just didn't feel like talking. Everything I've been writing about this week (published and non-published) - they should know this stuff. But I didn't really explain it to them, not well. I gave them the five second cryptic update on the Battle of the Shoes and generally vented about a couple of other things... and they responded in love and compassion with true responses to what I told them... but I couldn't shake the feeling that what I'd presented was a slightly distorted view of reality - distorted largely because I'm so far past exhausted I can't see straight, I was starving and dizzy and light-headed, and because I'm not seeing clearly to begin with, and not because I lied or meant to... what I said was true, but it wasn't the whole truth - I don't think I know what the whole truth is...

They gave me good advice - it was biblical, it was godly - and it felt off.

Not sure what to make of that.

But I came away from it thinking, "Okay, something needs to shift. I need to be able to see more clearly."

So I am taking a week off. Not from life, much as I could use a vacation. But from blogging, from making decisions that matter, from everything I can think of that may be aiding in this distortion. I am going to go back and read everything I can find that I've written since August and see if I can trace the trajectory I've been on, what it is that God has been doing in me and maybe why, and see if I can guess beyond an hour from now what's next... I think I looked at the Promised Land and decided to run last night, and it felt like Israel said "go for it" - but I'm not sure...

So here's where you come in. Will you help me? Will you go back during this week and read what I've written here and tell me what you see God doing in the life of this girl you've been getting to know? What you've seen Him teach me? I need to remember the deeds of the Lord this week. (Psalm 77 again.)

Thank you, my friends.

And Happy Easter!

I will "see" you in a week or so.

Love,
Happy

5 comments:

robert austell said...

Happy,

You don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for almost a year now. I'm not sure how I stumbled on it, other than we read some of the same blogs and I might have followed a comment.

I'm a pastor and a musician, sometimes worship leader in my own church and conferences, and I feel the weight of your recent posts and struggles.

I know you are taking a week to reflect, and I'm not sure I have anything important to offer, but I felt strangely led to comment.

I've read enough of your blog to believe you have pure motives. If this were an idol, you'd know and would be dealing with it as such rather than wrestling on a blogsite.

To me, it sounds like the particularly difficult situation of two Christians (or however many are involved in the 'request' to you) sincerely trying to honor God in the best way possible. And you disagree over how to do that.

It is possible that the request is being made on unbiblical grounds - i.e. legalism, power play, assertion of authority... but I think if that were the case, it probably would have been as obvious as a personal idol.

My guess is that your choice of sockfeet and the leadership's request to wear shoes come from a desire for people to enter into a closer experience of worshiping the Lord. If that seems off-base, just disregard the rest...

Some questions I'd have (and I've been in similar situations):

1. How does your worshiping in sockfeet benefit the worship of the congregation? I'm guessing the primary answer is that it enables you to lead more authentically and effectively.

2. Could your sockfeet be an obstacle for some? While I might answer, "No, unless somebody makes a big deal about it..." the answer may be 'yes... for some."

3. Would wearing shoes be an obstacle for worshipers? I can't imagine that it would be directly, but...

4. Would wearing shoes be an obstacle to you - i.e., inhibit your ability to lead in worship? I think this is a crucial question... maybe THE crucial one. If so, it might create a bigger obstacle to more people than the socks would.

I don't know if thinking through those questions will offer any insight, but maybe...

I was also drawn to a passage, for what that's worth. Colossians 3:12-17. Rather than me comment, I'll just let you see what God says to you there.

I don't have an answer in mind for you, but will pray for wisdom and grace, trusting that God will continue to use you significantly and will give you peace about whatever you decide.

I would have e-mailed all this, but couldn't find a profile. You are welcome to e-mail me at robert[at]gspc[dot]net

Also, I apologize if this seems overly direct or formal... blog comment boxes are just not the right format, particularly for heart-heavy situations.

Happy said...

Robert - hi. :) Thank you so much for your incredibly thoughtful response. I am taking a week to reflect, but I will still be about, and this is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for - perspective, insight, etc. No strangeness at all - you were led, and I am thankful for your input. Honestly - it felt nice to be pastored for a few minutes, and I will probably come back to this a few times over the next week.

I may respond at greater length later - but thanks especially for question 4 and the Colossians passage. I'm going to sit with it for a bit this evening, and see what the Lord would say.

Grace and peace be with you this Good Friday.

Rachel said...

Hey Sis. Praying for you and thinking of you as you re-assess! I'll comment more if I feel I have something I'm meant to contribute, but in the mean time, know I've spiritually got your back.
Rach.

Cherly Upto said...

Hi There...
I can't say that I have any conclusions on socks/no shoes, however as I was reading a daily devotional last night, you came to mind.. and I thought I should send it along to you...
For what its worth:

I put it on my blog: cherlyupto.blogspot.com

jON said...

this brings words to mind from trent reznor.

"are you sure what side of the glass you are on?"

i thikn in my life, i was always facing the wrong way. god kept drawing me to himself, however, slowly but surely. it wasn't until he finally pulled me on the other side of the glass that i awoke.

why is this glass in my way?! what happened?! everything used to be so clear! now i don't know what's happening!

"turn around" he said.

then i saw it. the world in technicolor right before me. i was looking the wrong way the whole time. if i had turned around before, i would have noticed i was already encassed in the translucent glass, never having seen truly before. and i would have known the instant i became free as a cause for rejoicing rather than fearing my entire world had failed me.