Sunday, December 18, 2011

On evangelical behavior

Here's something that was/has been bothering me over the past 36 hours or so: I am evangelical about lots of things in my life. It depends on my mood and energy level and so on, but still: I will go to great lengths to share with you my affection for floss picks or for the smell of Noxzema facewash, or to convince you that you really should like to eat all the things that I like to eat and care about all the things I care about and do all the things that I like to do. If you don't like water, I will try to make you understand why you should like water. If you do not like being outside, or wearing tennis shoes, or eating more than six things (I don't know whether you'll ever read this, Ian, but yes it is possible that that is a pointed comment) then I will go out of my way repeatedly to try to make you "see the light." To try to change your mind. And it's obnoxious--I know it is--but I can't seem to help myself. In fact, if you have habits or opinions that I find irksome and you notice me not being pushy or giving you shit about them all the time, then you should be aware that I am working really hard to keep my mouth shut.

So here's a segue that I'm not sure how to make without being offensive: I'm not evangelical about that thing that the term "evangelism" was probably coined for in the first place: my faith. What I say I believe. And probably part of the reason is that being evangelical isn't really culturally acceptable around here, and part is that I'm afraid to offend people, and part is that I'm more worried about being judged by others than I am willing to admit to myself. Part is that I don't know how to balance not being judgmental and being respectful and sharing and communicating. And part is that I don't really know what I think is true, or rather, don't know how much is true. Don't know how much is grey.

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