At least once a week, I fantasize about burning down the internet.

At least once a week, I seriously consider quitting the blog, quitting Facebook, quitting putting myself out here like this.

At least once a week, I think that all this stuff I’ve written about being real and open and honest, about taking down the masks and no longer pretending to be who we think everyone else wants us to be, is the worst idea I’ve ever had.

At least once a week, I want to reinforce all my walls and go into hiding.

To be real is to be vulnerable. Writing naked, living naked, is scary, yea verily terrifying. When you reject me, it hurts. When you make me your project, it tells me that your love is conditional, based on my performance. It tells me that all your talk of grace is empty.

But when I’m real, and you love me anyway, warts and all? When you let me be the woman in process that I am, still learning, still getting it wrong, still trying, still failing? That is the most empowering, the most invigorating, the most life-giving thing I can imagine. That is grace. That is Jesus.

Let’s give each other real grace. Let us never tell each other that our love depends on you fitting into a certain mold or performing a specified way or giving certain answers. Let us push gently, assume the best, and learn together. Let us recognize that we ourselves are also learning, trying, and failing, changing and hopefully growing, and never take the posture that we have arrived.

If we fail at this, we do not merely fail to love as Jesus loved. We destroy each other, and we destroy ourselves.

***

Life: unmasked buttonOn Wednesdays, I host a link-up for anyone willing to take a risk and step away from the pretense that all is well. Will you take off your mask and write naked? Will you join me in learning the Jesus-grace that loves unconditionally?

If you’ve written anything unmasked, link up below! Please link back to this post (here’s the link: http://wp.me/p2n5xv-CB ) so your readers can learn and maybe join in too, and then make sure to visit at least two others and leave them encouraging comments.