Paraphrasing an old clich?, “there is a time for subtlety and there is a time to just bag it.”
For all our bravado, living on the edge, and taking chances as if we were young again, we live in constraints. Etiquette, proper decorum, and pride often keep us from expressing the thoughts, feelings, and values our hearts hold most dear. Enough is enough! It is time others knew the true you living within our hearts and we began to deal with our true selves. However obvious this point might be it isn’t the heart of my thoughts. I am struck by the lost opportunities we have to communicate because of living within a predefined shell of being normal, acceptable, or reasonable.
I believe the primary reasons are fear and pride. It’s risky to express one’s true feelings when they might be rejected. It can be difficult to grapple with whoever we are instead of just living with the simple painting we present to others. Guilt often turns to the evil side and turns reasonable reflection into a living nightmare! There is no subtlety about what is going on within us, just lost windows of opportunity in reaching out to others who need our touch, love, and friendship.
As Jesus responded in active compassion to a situation he was less than subtle. The record says “he shouted, ‘Lazarus, come out!’” (John 11.43)
My simple advice to you and to myself today is the following.
When others are hurting, suffering, or living in fear – express your empathy. Not everything can be solved, or should be, yet having someone besides you helps.
As windows emerge to expression love, care, and concern – take them! There is a limit to how much sugar one can take yet erring on the side of excess is, in this case, a good idea.
When in doubt, always let mercy win out over justice, love over hatred or revenge, and compassion over judgment. The world has far too many people living in ivory towers of idealism and perfection. Get out and live!