i’ve been soaking in this unlocking of emotions that i wrote about here. it hasn’t stopped at all — i cry all the time, not for no reason, but for things that, for the most part, i’m glad to be emotional about. and i feel so much more than i ever have, including other peoples’ emotive stuff, or hardship.
the other day, a close friend wrote this to me in an email
You’ve been touched in a way, like Jacob, and I hope and pray that you walk with this “limp” of compassion, empathy and emotion for a long time to come. You wear it well.
it slayed me. in a good way.
i remember the day i made three women cry in my office in one day (uh, three different meetings, that is), because i was “telling the truth”. (this was about 10 years ago now.) it was that day that i realized — for the very first time — that my lack of mercy and compassion was actually a weakness. i’d always seen it as a strength (and had been told by other dysfunctional leaders that this was true). i asked two guys to mentor me — one was a very strong leader who still seemed to have a gentle side; the other a pastor i respected who’s life was marked by his heart for people. i had small discoveries along the way. i blew it with people again and again. i was called cocky and arrogant (i didn’t make the CORE team at YS the first time i was asked to try out for it because mike yaconelli and doug fields — the two i tested with — both thought i was arrogant!). but all that stuff continued to “work for me” also — and i got promotion and opportunity after promotion and opportunity. weird.
anyhow. i remember another day very clearly. it was my last week at Lake Avenue Church (my last church before coming to YS). i had breakfast with one of my mentors, and while praying for me, he thanked god for my “gentle spirit”. i almost started laughing out loud. i was baffled. i hadn’t seen any change in me at all. then, later that day, at a going-away lunch for me with the whole church staff, one of the secretaries pulled me aside to tell me a bunch of them were talking the other day, and they’d decided i was a “gentle bulldozer”. wow — that was progress!
now, years later, i’m told i’m walking with a limp, ala Jacob.
our consultant, who’s been so instrumental in helping those of us at ys understand ourselves, tells me that i’ve shifted from 4/5 one personality type and 1/5 another, to the exact opposite distrubution of those, in the past year. he says he expects i will shift back, but i’ll never be what i was.
i like the sound of that. i hope and pray i’ll never be what i was — whatever that might have been! i don’t want to lose this limp.