Have you found this yet? The Robcast…Let me tell you, it takes a confident person to stick there name in the actual podcast, like he is redefining it. Right? I love podcasts…They are one of my favorite things, for sure. I was a little skeptical at first about this one, for the name thing mostly. I like to find small reasons to make big judgments.
BUT, let me tell you…I am so thankful for his voice and for his creative mind. I have been listening to these almost constantly…as I work or clean up the house or whenever I can find a quiet moment. And can I just say how life-giving it has been for me.
I don’t think I fit super neatly into one particular mold or box or category…I am not a super conservative Christian, I think differently than a lot peers or colleagues. I am a leader, outspoken and opinionated, I have a different temperament and gift mix than what women in ministry leadership used to be expected to have. I have gifts that sometimes people don’t know what to do with or feel intimidated by (heck, I still don’t know what to do with myself). And for a long time I thought I was wrong. Maybe made wrong or that I just didn’t seem to get what came so naturally to many people. I had questions or different thoughts about things, that few people seemed to express.
But, hearing someone eloquently and passionately talk about things that matter to me (the importance of creativity, my beef with date night, how things come in waves) is nothing short of amazing. The way his mind works is so interesting and different, and I believe his voice matters. It’s inspiring and it teaches and challenges me in a way that I don’t find very often…It’s like learning from having a really deep & honest talk with a good friend. Someone who gets you and is happy to speak about their experience, and make you feel a little less crazy. A little less alone on the journey. But not let you off the hook.
Often times it is easy to eliminate voices that we don’t resonate or agree with from our sphere. We have control and don’t have to hear voices or opinions that don’t exactly align with what we think or how we feel. When we do this we are choosing to not be challenged and instead be coddled. For many, I think Rob Bell’s voice and opinion is a challenge. For me there are several high profile Christian speakers who it is difficult to listen to, because I passionately disagree with them about some issues that feel very personal to me. But I try to. I try to choose to not be ignorant and I try give people the benefit of the doubt. And I try not to roll my eyes and talk back as I listen.
And in all of this, it gives me permission to be myself. I believe Rob is truly living his life to in the best way possible, being true to who God created him to be. Quirky and creative, he is a polarizing figure. And in doing so is giving others permission to do the same. Similar to the Nelson Mandela quote I love so much and believe wholeheartedly. And I am thankful for it for that permission. I too want to be true and the best version of who God made me, and in the process, allow others to do the same.
“ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
― Nelson Mandela