You might have notice, that lately I am Everywhere on the Internet. In the interest of getting my stuff out there, I have been going hardcore into social media. It is equal parts thrilling, frustrating, and a little bit terrifying. In light of that, and more specifically the fact that I have actually been showing people my art—real live people that I know and go to church with, and have worked with in real life—I have been doing a lot of self-reflection.
And here is the thing: I don’t fit neatly into any specific niche. I’m too vulgar for the church, but I’m too churched for the world. Too alternative for the pews, too full of Jesus for the atheists. Everywhere I go, I constantly do not fit in. I feel like I am bound and determined to constantly be pissing all sides off.
Sometimes I want to hide, you know. I’m tempted to change the art that I make, tempted to hide the writing I do. To take anything off the table that shares too much of my heart or my beliefs—especially the ones that are too. Too something, the what never really matters much. If you split the difference and walk the middle road, it’s impossible to offend anyone. And yet, if you do that the magic rubs off; and you are left with something bland and uninspiring where the sparkle used to be.
How it feels to be a Christ-follower and an artist, and a writer, and to want so badly for others to love and approve of me: this is it right here.
And yet, I feel called to authenticity. And so I steel myself and say to myself that yes, perhaps I will constantly be pissing off most people… but I can hope that in the midst of it there are other people caught in the middle. People like me, who are too much of all of the things to be one thing. People who are many things.
Who are working out their salvation with fear and trembling, while trying to learn how they fit into 2018 in America. Who are filled with such compassion for the LGBT community that it hurts their spirits, but who are willing to say, “God, you are in control. It is your plan, and I trust you. If it makes me look hateful, if other people don’t understand. If it makes me look like a fucking fool… still, I trust you.”
Two things come to mind:
This video of a poem by Sierra DeMulder, called “Talking to God” (“Half of us are broke, the other half are breaking, and I am just a witness to half of it […] Remind me life is suffering, existence is coincidence, and I am just a witness to half of it.”)
And this poem by John Donne:
No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man
is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as
well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
owne were; any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
And last but not least, I just want to remind you all that I’ve moved to hopezane.com! You can find me and all my writing, art, and other wacky projects there.