Friday, February 5, 2010

Indecent Exposure

I seldom cry at movies.

Okay… that’s not entirely true.

I do cry at movies, more than I’d like to admit. (end of Glory every time)

But that’s just it. I don’t admit it.

And I go to great lengths to hide it if the tears spring up unexpected and/or uninvited.

Why do I do that?

I possess a very (and I do use that word very, against which I have a grievous pet-peeve) reserved personality. I tend to sit back, observe, let others do the talking, never interrupt. If there’s no getting a word in edgewise, well then, I don’t get in a word. Not that I don’t have anything to say. I just don’t say it. If it can’t be expressed in the written form, then I don’t usually express it.

Unless I know you. Then I am a bit less reserved, but only a bit. Crying at movies is still unacceptable.

It’s not that I don’t feel. I’m afraid I feel too deeply. I guess I just don’t want everyone knowing it, even my best pals.

Why is that?

I think along the line somewhere I got the impression that I am always to have “it” together (whatever “it” is), and that I am always to hold unswervingly to faith in God.

In other words, be perfect.

I shouldn’t need anything besides the basics, I should only want something if it’s good for me, I’m the one who should always be there for others to lean on, and heaven forbid I act out on anything not certifiably worth acting out on.

Ha! What a circus act that is. You know… the one spinning all the plates on a dozen little sticks?

Amazingly enough, this post is not about personality disorders.

It’s about friendship.



Holding “it” together is not a bad thing. In general, in daily life, in the workplace and at the mall and during your kid’s little league game, having control over emotional outbursts is a plus.

But everyone needs ventilation. That’s what friends are for… at least, in part.

Not just “Hey, how was your weekend” friends, but like-minded, trust-worthy, accountability partners who will not condemn you for a little indecent exposure.

And by indecent, I mean: sobbing your heart out for no apparent reason or maybe for a host of compounded reasons, complaining like a three-year-old about the tiniest of stupid irritations flooding your day, ranting about your husband’s dirty-socks-on-the-floor habit or your kid’s refusal to eat cauliflower or your sister’s whining that she hasn’t been to the hairdresser for a whole three weeks (all hypothetical… of course!), wishing out loud that you had enough money to go on monthly vacations and visit Starbucks every morning…

You get the picture… I hope.

I had the opportunity to do this recently (and to the 2 witnesses of my indecent exposure, you know who you are, I sincerely and gratefully thank thee), and the result amazed me.

I felt lighter.

I felt I could keep “it” together even better than before.

I felt loved.

I felt imperfect, which was perfectly okay.

Wow. God sure knew what He was doing when He created friends.

It baffles me to think that GOD needed, or at the very least, wanted friends while walking around here on Earth.

I used to think that the disciples were employed, in a manner of speaking, recruited to (imagine booming, sacred, holier-than-thou voice) do the work of the Lord.

Well, I suppose they did have a commission and were in training as they spent time with Jesus. But I’d like to think, too, that Jesus wanted these men around Him because He needed friends.

It makes sense. He had become fully human, and so he experienced in a human way the human need to be in relationship with other humans.

He was also fully divine. And I forget sometimes that relationship played a big part in His existence (the Trinity) before He created humans in His image.

So, I guess the moral of this wandering story is: no matter what your personality type, and especially if it is a reserved one like mine, opening up to a select group of trusted friends is healthy, important, and following the example of Christ. Also, make sure you serve others in this capacity as well – be a safe place for them in their moments of indecent exposure.

Thanks for visiting Dry Ground! Happy Weekending!

(photos by


lynnrush said...

OMG, that picture is fantastic (of the babies.)

I totally related to this post today, Lori.

What is "it" anyway? I've asked myself that many times as I tried to hold "it" together.

Thank God for friends, huh?

Happy Friday, have a great weekend, my friend.

Amber said...

I think I've cried enough at this post to last both of us for a few months, at least!

You are such a blessing. And for what it's worth, I often learn the most from people when they AREN'T holding it together. Most of us can't relate to perfection. God created you and is proud of you and will use your situation AND you, however flawed or hurting you are, when He has your heart! One more thing to praise Him for!!!


KM Wilsher said...

Sweet post. I like the revelation about the 12. . .not his Secret Service, but his brothers. . .

You are a such a loving and genuine friend, I feel blessed to know you.
This is another reason - your imperfectness ;0)

marilyn said...

You definitely said this very well - I can relate with the "holding it together" have-to-be-perfect thoughts because I have been that girl, too. It took some good friends to make me realize that they wanted to hear MY thoughts, feelings and opinions - in other words, they challenged me on "going with the flow" and holding back. Thanks for sharing, and hugs to you!!

SarahtheBaker said...

I know exactly what you mean.

I've been mostly unable to cry in front "public" the majority of my life. Even in elementary school, I considered it a fate worse than death (or getting beat up by a 6th grader).

While my husband and friends do a great job, they can't know me inside out and see or understand everything, so God is my ultimate soft place when I feel beat-up, overwhelmed or misunderstood.

If I didn't believe that there was Someone who truly "sees and understands all," I don't know how I'd go on.

I'm so grateful for Who He is and that He loves me.