I’ve been peeking in at Momastery for a year or so now, which might sound weird because I’m not a mom, but I think that it’s more than just moms who are being challenged and encouraged by what Glennon Doyle Melton is saying and doing over there. And the cool thing is that all that she is “doing” is telling her stories, telling her truth, and loving on people with words of truth and encouragement… and action, too.
Sometimes I get scared of Glennon, because she believes, fiercely believes, in who she is as Beloved – so fiercely that sometimes I get scared that I will get sucked in by her ferocity and start believing “crazy” things. So I’ve tip-toed around her blog, kind of holding her at arm’s length, just checking in every once in a while to make sure she’s still around and to see if there were any new entertaining stories (which there usually are, just so you know).
But then I watched this video. And it reminded me of a conversation I had last summer with someone else who believes fiercely and is learning to believe in who he is as Beloved and believes fiercely that shame has no place in the Kingdom. While watching the video I said, “Yes, yes, yes. Amen.” I nodded my head and praised God for the truth that is a shame-free dance floor life and sent the video along to that Beloved shameless friend of mine.
Then, this week, I finally read Carry On, Warrior which is Glennon’s book. And the flesh in me, the pride in me, the fear in me, said, “Careful, Suzanne! She says some crazy things!” And the Satan whispering in my ear said, “She’s kind of out there… you might not want to listen to what she has to say.”
But the Jesus in me, the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear said, “Just listen. Just listen to what she has to say without assumptions or preconceived notions. Just listen and then you can decide whether or not you agree.”
So I did.
Which is good.
Because I DID agree (like, 98%) and because, like an old Bible professor of mine, GDM (that’s short for Glennon Doyle Melton – I don’t think she goes by that but I like initials) has this insane talent of distilling confusing (for me) theological truths into one or two powerfully clear statements that make you say, “Oh. Well that makes sense!”
While reading Carry On, Warrior, I realized that I already did believe some crazy things because the Bible and God and Jesus and Kingdom and Heaven and Life and Community and Love are all about crazy things. And I think it’s Glennon’s job (one of her jobs, anyway) to convince those of us who already believe crazy things – things like God becoming man and hanging out with the gross ones – to believe them fiercely and to own their identity as Beloved.
Here are some of the crazy things Glennon says in her book that I realized I already believed, and now believe more fiercely:
- “…the only way to live peacefully is to forgive everyone constantly, including yourself.”
- “Life is hard – not because we’re doing it wrong, just because it’s hard.”
- “…love is not something for which to search or wait or hope or dream. It’s simply something to do.”
- “Kind people are brave people… Brave is a decision.”
- “If our goal is to be tolerant of people who are different than we are… then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated.”
- “All of us live in some sort of poverty. Poverty of hope, poverty of peace, poverty of love. We are all poor in one way or another.”
- “Love is not warm and fuzzy or sweet and sticky. Real love is tough as nails. It’s having your heart ripped out, putting it back together, and the next day, offering it back to the same world that just tore it up.”
- “The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love. Not advice, not questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just love.”
- “God made it all, and what God made is enough.”
- “I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy. Life is uncomfortable. So I might as well get busy loving the people around me.”
The list could really go on for days. I just about highlighted half of the stinking book.
Anyway, I learned (again and more fully) that listening to people’s stories is important. I learned (again and more fully) that EVERYONE has something to offer, that EVERYONE has something to teach and to give everyone else, and that I have something to learn and receive from EVERYONE.
Isn’t that crazy?