I had joined adsense I think last spring. That is what explained all the ads on my site. I thought I might make it rich through advertising on my site. Adsense doesn't send you a check until you've reached $100. The pennies started trickling in. Like Chinese water torture. I decided that as soon as I reach my first $100 I'm going to quit adsense advertising and get back to being totally naked again... to be reflected in the nakedness of my site. Finally, this morning, I woke up to find $100.03 in my adsense account, and keeping my promise to myself, I stripped off all the ads on my site. Now nakedpastor is completely naked. I only have my own art advertised on here now, which I think is fair... since I am an artist trapped in a pastor's body!
Which got me thinking about something I've been thinking about: I'm hearing some people lately saying, "I don't know if I can stay committed to this marriage!" Several, in fact. My reaction is: Okay. But can you stay committed to Jack? Or, can you stay committed to Jill? Or if someone says, "I don't want to be committed to this friendship!" What? Do you mean that you don't want to be my friend anymore? Or when someone says, "I'm no longer committed to this church!" What do you mean by that? Do you mean that you are no longer committed to me? Or Sally? Or Bill? Ever since I was young, I find these terms or labels disabling. They are often facades to the real. We use them as ways of avoiding relationship and withholding love. I don't find them helpful, but hindering. Let's strip the realities of the facades and call them what they are. You don't want to love her anymore? You don't want to love this group of people anymore? If that's what it is, let's be honest about it? To be honest, I'm not committed to marriage. I'm not committed to family. I'm not committed to church. But I am committed to Lisa. I am committed to our children and the benefits of us being in love together. I am committed to this strange and wonderful group of people that some call "church".
This can be radical because if we are not living according to the label, then what does the time-honored and time-proven label mean anymore? If I refuse to act like a normal husband, or Lisa refuses to act like a wife is supposed to act, or if we refuse to look like a traditional family, or if we refuse to behave like an orthodox church, then we've found ourselves in a dangerous but necessary place. Why? Because the labels came along after the realities. They were created to define something that already existed. That's why I refuse to agree with what conservationists would call "wife", "husband", "family", or "church". That's why I endeavor to create contexts of liberty that explode labels and definitions. This is why I enjoy watching others obsessively trying to define who I am or what we are. Our clothes aren't recognizable. In fact, do we even have clothes? Ah, there's the rub!
This fine art photograph is the creation of my friend Mark Hemmings
and is from his Mannequin series. Let' s not be fake dummies.