This summer, EpiC is reading the book A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren. This blog post is about chapter 1.
The title of this chapter is explained in the story as the idea that sometimes important and/or public people wish they could just be regular people. I suggest taking this one step further. Sometimes – more times than we may like to admit – we wish we didn’t have to try to be something good and nice and exemplary. Sometimes, we just want to be allowed to be something that requires less effort and expectation. It’s draining to try to be attractive and admirable all the time.
For those of us who exist in a middle ground, it is especially trying. As the book says, “The hard thing about being a bridge is that you get walked on from both ends.” If you exist as a representative of God, how can you also be flawed? If you are queer, how can you also be religious? If you are a scientist, how can you also be Christian? The sides you identify with can be seen as contradictory, the sides may have beef with each other. One side may find issue with something and once you change, the other side takes up arms in revolt. It is exhausting.
But I believe bridges are ultimately good. They provide two sides to learn from, two sides to be improved by, and (in my opinion, most importantly) they provide a path for others to exist in a middle ground as well. We do not need to be good and nice and exemplary. We just need to try, we just need to explore, we just need to be willing to change. And if a peacock respectfully wishes to hang around with a seagull, I don’t see an issue with it.