KEEPING IT REAL
Frankly, I've always thought that was kind of a stupid phrase. I like the intent behind it, but it’s just one of those odd little sayings that is probably much less profound than people pretend it to be. HOWEVER, the concept behind it is important in any relationship. However, it comes today because of an interesting comment I heard.
I was at a conference the last couple of days, at which I see a variety of old friends and a collection of colleagues in ministry, some of whom have been mentors in my life, others I have mentored, and many of whom I have worked with in a variety of ministry projects.
One good friend and I were visiting, and he was sharing about some experiences he had with fellow ministers in relation to my first book—Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce, Vol. 1 (He only just now picked up the second volume.) He and his friends were discussing some topics from the book, and, as he told me, none of them had ever been divorced, so they were learning a bit about the experience through their reading, hopefully to assist them to better pastor those going through divorces.
My friend then shared that there was one person who came to the discussion, though, who HAD been divorced some years previous. That individual apparently made a comment about the things she had read, and that comment was, “This is TOO real!”
I took that to be a high compliment. My friend and I had only a few minutes to elaborate, so I didn't get to follow through on the entire story. But the core of the idea was that the book doesn't present a sugar coated perspective of the struggle of divorce for Christians. Nor does it offer some quick and easy answers in relation to faith that pretends like certain formulas will make everything okay. Instead, the meditations in the book take scripture texts and use them to address the real life struggles of divorce, in ways that, at least in my opinion, bring real wrestling's of faith to bear on the real issues of divorce. Hence, those who have read the writings have indicated to me that they have found a great deal of relevance and commonality in what they have read. The struggles shared are the struggles they deal with day by day. Maybe some of the answers and perspectives I suggest are helpful and accurate, as they have been helpful for me, but even without those pieces, just knowing you are not alone in the struggle is enough to make the writings meaningful.
I hope that, whatever struggles YOU experience in life, whether in relation to divorce or not, you are facing those issues in the context of a faith that deals with real life. I hope you can do this not with a faith that pretends everything is all okay when it isn't or that you have all the answers when you don’t, or that can’t accept both the struggles and the sorrows along with the victories and joys of life.
For I believe God is real, and I believe He cares about the real world issues that we face. And I believe that He has real answers that make a real difference, even in the toughest of experiences.
So, keep you faith, and your relationship with God REAL!
TL:dr My goal in my writings are to bring scripture to bear on real life issues, and some going through divorce have indicated the books have done just that.