I had an appointment in Oxford, Ohio this morning. Oxford is a pretty happening scene. There are some great restaurants, cool little stores, one of my favorite coffee houses, and stores that have beers you simply can’t find in Wayne County, IN.
On the way to Oxford, I listened to Marc Maron interview Herb Alpert on the WTF Podcast. If you are into music, this is a great interview that dives into the creation of the A&M record label and the California jazz scene. The interview with Alpert comes at about the 40 minute point of the episode.
So, after arriving in Oxford and grabbing a cup of freshly roasted Guatemalan coffee at the Oxford Coffee Company, I walked over to Oxford Spirits to check out their craft beer selection. I picked up the last 6 pack of Bell’s Hopslam, some North Coast Old Rasputin, Dogfish Head Beer to Drink Music To, and 21st Amendment Monk’s Blood. Yes, that’s a decent list. One has to stock up when the local craft beer selection is, well, severely limited.
On my way home from the appointment, I listened to the latest TED Radio Hour show. This particular episode is titled “Keeping Secrets”. I thoroughly enjoy the TED Radio Hour and TED Talks. If you are not listening to the program or watching TED Talks, well, you are doing it (and by “it”, I mean “life”) wrong.
The program featured Ash Beckham and her story of coming out. She focused on the importance of freeing herself from her secrets. There were a few quotes that really caught my attention:
- “Never apologize for speaking your truth.”
- “Never apologize for being who you are.”
- “Some folks may be disappointed, but that’s not on you. That’s on them.”
- “The only story that matters is the one you want to write.”
- “Give yourself permission to be who you are.”
Those are some powerful words. I think, too often, in Christian circles, we fail to give people space to freely be who they are. We don’t leave room for speaking one’s truth. We don’t leave room for questions, doubts, and uncertainty. Many in churches keep secrets because they are afraid of the consequences and disappointment.
But, we should strive for true openness, transparency, honesty, and creating safe spaces where people can truly be who they truly are.
Be sure to check out the next podcast of “Grabbing a Beer with a Pastor”. On episode 2, we discuss rebranding with Matt Lipan, pastor of Gateway Community Church.