I have been plagued with depression and profound seriousness for much of my life. I have, for as long as I can remember, felt the need to choose my words carefully so that each one is without blemish—making myself untouchable, hiding in the deep waters of the profound to keep people at a distance. “Still waters run deep?” no, still waters, in my case, are a hedge of protection – a profound fear. I have to rage against intellectual profundity, ruthlessly seek out humor, identify with people on a playful level, and embrace quirkiness to really live. I’m beginning to see that really living, though risky, is much more precious to me than hiding in the deep.
As a writer (and I doubt that I can really call myself that yet as I have only written a few blog posts, but I’m trying it on for size), I have to decide what effect I want my words to have on people. Do I want you to say “Whoa, that’s deep,” bringing a look of serious contemplation or confusion to your face, which just serves to separate me from you? Or do I want my words to simply communicate an intimate truth. The former may make me seem wise, where the latter makes the truth more appealing, and the truth is what needs to be exalted, not me. Identification is what unites us, and people cannot identify with the profound. The profound is unattainable, futuristic, and therefore worthless. The profound is all head and no heart; there is no life in the profound.
It has been my experience that the deepest truths in life are stated in simple terms; I’m so sick of the deeply profound. Many of us think that the only way our words have merit is if they are presented in some highly evolved way that proves we are deep thinkers – well, that’s bullshit.
Give me something I can use. Mountaintop experiences are great on the mountain, but I need something I can walk around with on the ground. Here you go, see what you can get from this random Zen Proverb:
“The infinite is in the finite of every instant”
WTF? – I mean, I guess I could spend a few days contemplating this, but who has that kind of time? Now consider this random intimate truth shared by Dan Allender, and see if you agree that it may be a bit more insightful, useful, and awakening:
“To dream alone is fantasy if it doesn’t move the heart to act.”
See, this is something I can use. I have dreams, but don’t act like it—now I am challenged to take a step out of fantasy and walk toward my dreams. Good, right?
The story I like to tell most often of a deep truth communicated to me in simple terms came one day while I was taking a bath and reading a book.(Adam Brown was the Navy Seal in the book ‘Fearless’ and had the true heart of a warrior. I don’t know how many times now I’ve read his incredible story, but he also liked to take hot baths— not sure why I felt the need to bring that up, but there it is.) Anyway, I started to feel this deep longing to know what Gods will was for me. I had only known Him a short while, but I was sure He had some very profound and weighty work for me. I began to pray and ask Him. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t what I heard. The sentence that came to my heart was this:
“Enjoy your peace and freedom”
My entire being smiled. That was the kindest thing anybody has ever said to me. Not “get busy in a church” or “knock on people’s doors” or anything of that nature. Jesus said that He came “to heal the broken-hearted and set the captive free.” He knew the hell Id lived through most of my life – much of which I caused. He showed His true heart to me in that command and I will never forget it. I can’t imagine a more beautiful response to my question. He came to heal and free me and that is exactly what He has been doing, so who am I to not accept and enjoy it.
It seemed unbelievable that this could be His will for my life, but over time I saw not only how kind it was, but also how useful. Every time I try to tell people about my experience or teach them what I’ve learned, it produces very little fruit. But the people who have known me for a while can see how he has worked to heal my heart and free me from captivity, and that speaks louder than anything I can say. Through His work in me, He has brought freedom to many of my family members and all I had to do was enjoy it.
I don’t need to preach the message I’ve been given; I just need to live in it. Every time I laugh, the Gospel is proclaimed. Every time I love, His heart is on display. The work of Christ is beautiful, powerful, and very, very attractive. I don’t know that He really needs any promotion; just a heart to live in.