Have you ever gotten that e-mail? The one that suggests that the project you’ve been working on, the craft you’ve given your life to, the passion that you carry for the work you do, is actually misplaced, lacking, or even just awful? That e-mail that has the one line that repeats in your head over and over again, causing doubt in yourself and your abilities? Have you ever gotten that e-mail?
I just got one this weekend.
Now I could score some points (and views) talking about the haters on the blog. But first of all I think that we have a thin grasp on who the haters are, basically just lumping them all together in to some “everyone who’s not me and says so” category. But secondly this is something different. This is someone who can get in to your head and make you question things. Haters are superficial in my mind. This is something more insidious.
So all of this was in my head as I read the lectionary today, and something from the story of Jesus caught my attention. Jesus is on his way to heal the daughter of a man named Jairus, but hears along the way that the little girl had died.
“When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was.”
First of all, it kind of struck me that a crowd of people were laughing at the savior of the world. Jesus knows what it’s like to be laughed at. That’s not something we talk about in churches a bunch. But it’s Jesus’s response that gets me. He put them all outside. He takes the people that are questioning something he very obviously knows something about and INTENTIONALLY gets them out of the way. Not ignores them. Not labels them haters. But he intentionally and actively puts them outside.
Now again, we need to be careful here, because there may be a temptation to put everyone outside who disagrees with you. I don’t think this is what Jesus is advocating. He disagrees with people all the time, and continues to work with and through them. But this, this is something different. This is a group of people who are actively questioning your passion, desire, skills, talents, and abilities. Those people? You’ve got to put them outside. Put them outside your mind. Put them outside your habits. Put them outside your creative process. Put them outside. If people are going to get in the way of what God has called you to do, get them out of the way.
How we do that? Well that’s another thought for tomorrow.