My letter to you begins in confession.
It’s not an exciting confession, mind you, like some that I have read. You know that kind of confession that seems like a whole lot of fun was had before the confessing began. (That may have been a little bit at you, but in the best possible way.)
No, my confession is of the look-in-the-mirror-and-see-the-ugly-truth sort.
You see, the first words I ever read about you came from an anonymous reviewer on Amazon who gave your just-published book a one-star review. Just to be sure that they were telling the truth, I read all the other one-star reviews and found they shared the same story.
Apparently, you sucked as a writer, a person, and whatever else you were deemed to be.
Oh, I saw a gazillion five-star reviews, but what could they know? They apparently only read your blog and your book; they hadn’t even bothered to read the reviews I had read, so their thoughts meant nothing to me.
I determined that very night that I wouldn’t read any of your, what was it they called it, “narcissistic drivel.” And I felt absolutely giddy to have avoided your navel-gazing diatribe to all things Glennon.
But then people I love kept sharing your blog posts on Facebook. I found my commitment to avoid you threatened. Real people that I love apparently began to carry more weight than anonymous one-star reviewers.
I finally clicked a link and found myself peeking over the momastery walls, wondering at the time if I were the first male to ever do so.
And I began to read your words.
Not words about you, but words by you, or even truer, words from you, as in your heart.
Glennon, you had me at avocado.
But it was the honesty and beauty and power of your words that kept me.
I discovered that what others had dismissed as narcissism was a vulnerability in service to your desire to heal the world one broken person at a time. (And you know the secret so well, that we are all broken in one way or another.)
Your willingness to break open your life–every messy and complicated and beautiful part of it–reflects a courage few people, even most writers, possess.
Your words worked. I laughed with you and got angry with you and railed against insensitivity with you.
Your words work because they are just real. You somehow weave a tapestry of grace and community and truth that is able to hold us all in the midst of a broken and fearful world.
I suspect that makes you more of a target than even you realize. Your words about love and community and forgiveness and grace are so compelling that it’s got to stir up the folks who can’t imagine that love truly does win.
So carry on, Glennon. Ignore the voices who complain that you aren’t Christian enough, or that you talk about yourself too much, or any of the other things that the one-star bashers (and believers) write about you.
I do hope, however, that you will allow me one complaint.
As a male pastor, I find it almost impossible to quote from your blog during a Sunday sermon. It’s the title. Momastery. People already hold me at arm’s length me because I tend to talk about love and community and forgiveness too (though not nearly as well).
So, I was wondering if you would consider setting up a mirror site of what you post on Momastery. You can call it Bromastery. You know, for all of us brother monkees. Just a thought.
May you always know that as you keep carrying on, you are helping a bunch of us to do the same.