You’re Sick of Me Already, Aren’t You?


I live in fear that people will get sick of me.

Does that happen to you?

You know, not right away, of course, because early on I work really hard at being a funny, worthwhile, low maintenance, supportive type of person.

But, I know it won’t take long for people to sort through all that tap-dancing and uncover the irritating, chronically insecure, needy me wearing dance shoes that pinch my feet.

Being Christian doesn’t really help with this, at all.

Around people who aren’t Christians, I worry that my being a Christian just ups my annoyance factor.

Around other Christians, I worry that I’m not the right kind of Christian for them.

Like, at first, we’ll be all excited just to meet someone else who loves Jesus but a few conversations in, they’ll learn that we differ on something I think is a minor point of Scripture but for them is the acid test of what separates the sheep from the goats and I’ll be kicked to the curb like I just got caught eating their clean laundry.

But, since I also hate dishonesty and deception, I don’t hide who I am very well and that sort of gives the impression that I’m a secure person but really that’s just about me wanting to value truth and, in practice, it means I live every day feeling scared and kind of nauseous around other people. – like not just new people but, like good friends, my kids, my mom.

It can be exhausting. When all is said and done, I’d rather avoid people all together, which is a problem because that’s not practical – especially for someone in a helping profession.

So, I force myself out there. Seriously. It’s a pep talk every morning. And as I drink my large, hot, black coffee and pray myself into the world, I consume fear like a breakfast croissant.

Until the moment I’m focused on another person.

When I’m really listening to another person, hearing their story, getting inside their perspective, seeing their life through their eyes, the fear recedes.

I don’t think about me, in those moments. I think about what they’re experiencing of life and what their heart is beating to hear. I feel God’s love for them and begin to see what God was thinking when He had the idea of that person and I get really excited about the possibility of that person.

It’s like inhabiting God’s grace for that moment in time. As if God’s grace descends around us like the cone of silence Maxwell Smart used to lower over him and his boss in the old TV show, Get Smart.

I’m a lot like Maxwell Smart. I stumble around, clueless and myopic, until, by some miracle of divine intervention, my life touches another life and a spark of God passes between us that lights the world for a moment like a firefly on a summer night or a Bic lighter someone waves in the stands at a rock concert.

In that flash of light, I feel connected to something greater, something beyond my fears and insecurities, like a rip in the fabric of the veil between the kingdom of this world and the one where Jesus rules. There it is, I think.

This is why I love the story of Moses and his conversation with God at the burning bush. (Exodus 4)

Moses couldn’t be more annoying. Here’s God calling him to be the man who delivers his people but Moses just comes up with a million reasons why God should repost the ad for deliverer on Craigslist.

Me? You want me? Don’t you remember me back in civilization? I didn’t work out too well with other people – especially that one guy. So I’m out here now with the sheep and the goats and lots of sand. This works. I’m fine.

I don’t talk well. No one will ever believe we’ve had this conversation. Okay, the trick with the staff is impressive and that whole leprous arm thing is scary as all get out but they’re going to hate me. No one is going to follow me. I sure as heck can’t make a speech.

Hey, you know what. My brother Aaron is maybe who you were thinking of, Lord. He’d love this gig. Honest. Hey, I’ll even loan him the snake stick.

I would probably be friends with Moses if I knew him – until he got sick of me, that is.

So, he was pretty messed up and focused on himself but when Moses connected with the Israelites and really got inside their need for deliverance and God’s love for them, that God spark passed between them and ignited a fire so bright it transformed Moses into a leader.

I don’t think he ever lost all his fears. I think he led despite them.

And he still always preferred to get away from others. Spent so much time alone with God his face shone with the glory of it.

So, this is just to say that some of us manage to fumble through the work of God’s kingdom despite ourselves.

We haven’t yet lost all our baggage.

We don’t travel light on the narrow road.

But we’re on it – a strange band of annoying, chronically insecure, needy disciples tap-dancing along the narrow road who occasionally get a glimpse of glory that is enough to light our way and lighten our hearts.

Join us. Even if you’re afraid we’ll get sick of you.

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11 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Leslie Payne says:

    Well done, Lori!
    I’m sure there are many more people than just me who understand what you have said….they’re probably just afraid they will say the wrong thing when they comment. :0)

  2. Thank you for commenting, Leslie! The ridiculous irony of this post is my fear that in posting, this would be the last straw for me with people. 🙂 You’re a faithful encourager!

  3. krex_1 says:

    Awesome post, Lori, I can totally relate!

  4. scw1217 says:

    This is such a beautiful post. I can see myself in your words. More of God, Less of me.

  5. Really, Krex? No way.

    SCW, thank you for your kind comment.

  6. Oh Lori – You have NO IDEA! Or, maybe you do! 🙂 How many times to do I walk away from a group setting and analyze every thing I said? How much time do I spend worrying that people secretly hate being around me? And how good am I at faking a confidence I DO NOT HAVE? I’m in this with you sweet friend. Thank you for being brave enough to write these words!

  7. Well, it’s no accident God brought us together, Lynn! We can hang in there with one another.

  8. csw says:

    Great post. I didn’t just read the words, I felt them as I went along. Thanks for your honesty and courage to put it out for the world to see… I’m new at blogging and it’s been hard to open myself up. I’m getting there! carolweeks.blogspot.com

  9. Wow, very descriptive comment! I’ll check out your blog. Thanks for dropping in, CSW!

  10. Great post, Lori. I have to admist, I laughed because you described perfectly what I feel so often. Well Done! Have a blessed week.

  11. I really enjoyed this post. I feel the same most of the time. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

    Glenda Parker
    http://glendaparkerfictionwriter.blogspot.com