Anonymous Intimacy

Posted by Cecilia Leger on 7:31 AM
There is in all of us a desire for relationship, a hunger to be known. And so important is man’s need to belong that exile from one’s country is recognized to be among the worst punishments a society can inflict upon an individual. To gain community, desperate souls have given up freedom, property, even their lives. Created in the image of a triune God means we were created for connection and community. But so much stands in the way.

The fear of rejection and the real possibility of betrayal keep most of us silent when our hearts long to shout. Painful memories from the past hold us captive convincing us that intimacy is too risky. As we grow older we become more cynical, hold on with more tenacity to the masks we wear, and call it all maturity. When new people enter our lives, we weigh our options carefully: how much to reveal, how deep to trust. Gone is the recklessness with which we used to love, if ever it was present. Caution is our new religion.

My own life is filled with plenty of evidence from this great struggle: the yearning for closeness balanced against the need for prudence.

So today I want to acknowledge and thank those who are brave on my behalf. Artists, musicians, writers whose creations are self revelation, not merely self expression. Their works reach parts of me I don’t often share with others. I cannot count the number of times I have been immersed in a book, or an image, or a song that grabs me and won’t let go. There are words that have shaped me as surely as any personal experience. There are times when the pages of a book have reduced me to tears and then built me up again.

To those whose creativity comes at a price, thank you:

How can you know how indelibly you have touched my life? In all likelihood we will never meet and yet you struggle and strain (in part) for me. I’m sure there are days that leave you breathless and weak, times when your own heart is torn apart by fear and doubt.

All your strength and vulnerability poured out so that we might live (if only for a moment) in the oneness for which we were created. Through your craft, I am lifted out of myself and bound up in community. We stand, intimate strangers, held together by the truths that sustain us and a commonality of experience.

If ever there are times when this sacred act of creation becomes tedious and mundane, please think of me—a life, a heart you have already transformed by your courageous act of love.


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