Recently, a friend commented on the links I constantly email her. Something like, "hey crazy, you always find the randomest things" or "hey crazy, you're always hooking me up with weird news" or "hey crazy..." I don't remember, I just have the vague impression of an implied "hey, crazy!"
The point is, I share. If I see an interesting story online - because I do like to take the pulse of the internet regularly - I email it to whatever friend might find it intriguing, or helpful, or bizarre, or hilarious.
It's what I do.
Now, I also engage in actual communication with friends. It's not a substitute for Real Relationship. I just like passing on info, whether it's an article on zombies and Lent (yep. exists.) or a recipe for Guinness ginger cake (if you're on a diet, no, no, of course that doesn't exist).
I think this habit relates to my Super Ultra Comprehensive Inventory. You know, the virtual one in my head, where I compile years of results of Myers-Briggs personality type indicators, spiritual gifts inventories, multiple intelligence theory rubrics, learning style analyses, and DISC leadership style tests. And those don't even begin to touch the "what notable historical figure would you be?" Facebook quizzes.
I'm always highly verbal, interpersonal and intrapersonally aware, encouraging, dominant or influencing, visual, intuitive, teaching, judging (it's a type, a swear!), and my spatial intelligence is somewhere around minus 1,000.
It's the book of me.
Except, of course, it isn't.
Because people are always changing; people are always hidden in some way - staying barely unknowable; and people are infinitely unique.
I know: psychological profiling is helpful insofar as people fit broad categories, or even specific categories, in general. In general, I will never employ my physical senses to interpret information before I intuit it. My friend Angie will. I never will. I will read an expression before I hear literal meaning of spoken words. That's part of what God knit together in my mother's womb, fearfully and wonderfully.
But what we do with what God gave us - that always changes, day to day. We lean in to God's vision of who we are called to be more or less on any given day - that creative masterpiece God had in mind when, in the dark galaxy of a warm womb, we grew. There are some corners of our souls no one but God will ever know, that no profile or quiz or inventory can quantify.
No matter how much I share, part of me is infinitely hidden. The still, small part vulnerable to a Creator who knew me as an idea, a future, a not-yet. This corner of my soul God knows as a parent knows a child, a parent who has gotten up a thousand times in the middle of the night to clean soiled laundry, stinking waste, with love, as if it were the treasure others could never know.
Share as much as I will, I reserve. Which is part of a truth I've long observed: talkative people keep secrets easily, because everyone assumes that because you talk a lot, you say all you know. When, in fact, it's all that much easier to conceal.
But sharing with God is infinitely harder than sharing with friends. At least, it can be. I reserve parts of my soul for God alone, hidden thoughts, like Mary, who "kept these things and pondered them in her heart."
Our human tendency is to hide our inmost selves from God - vain impulse that it is. When God comes walking in the garden, we hide. We make our excuses. We do not share. We do not commune. We do not chat. We promise to return the call.
In fact, God saw it was not good for man to be alone. We need people to email links to. We need flesh and blood to know us.
But that hidden part, unrevealed through texts or Tweets or pen and ink or stone and chisel - it is only known by Shared Flesh - this is my Body, broken for you - by Shared Blood - this is my Blood, poured out.
We can share with God the Father because God the Son shared with us, shared our skin and organs and all. Shared our pain. Our suffering. Our grief.
Not only did Jesus reveal the nature of God to us - Jesus allowed us to reveal our inmost being. Our Truly Human.
From this place of being known, we can know others' suffering without drowning in it. Others share their pain with us and we remember Emmanuel, God Who Shares.
We need to be known. We need to be infinitely hidden. We need to Share.
AP and Reuters photos.