Apparently I’m that person. I’m the one that asks questions. I’m the one who see things differently. I often raise my voice for those who have been silenced.

I’m a challenger.

I challenge conventional wisdom and old ideas.  My words come across shrill to those set in their ways and refreshing to those whose words I have echoed.

I don’t seem to have a filter.

Sometimes I feel like the little kid in the crowd when the Emperor walks by I exclaim, “But he hasn’t got anything on!”

I notice those things that tradition has told us to ignore.  Bristling against the consumerism mentality of church culture, My husband warns me against walking through the brush with a machete in each hand in order to clear those things that I see as weeds.

Bev Murrill’s article When Who  You are Challenges the Status Quo at She Loves Magazine struck me to the core this morning. She proclaims, “Authenticity is truthfulness at the very heart of who we are.”

I sent this article to Russ this morning. He replied, “I see you in this, stay true to who He has made you”.

For years in church we were taught not to conform to the world but all the while we were expected to conform to the structures within the walls of the church. We were not to make waves or ask questions that challenged the thought process of others. Certainly don’t challenge the way we have always done things.

Last November I had the privilege to attend a book launch party for my beautiful friend Sarah Bessey. She graciously introduced me to her friends by saying “We met in an online community where I learned that it was possible to disagree beautifully”.

It was back in those early days that I dared to listen to the voices I was unsure about. In reality, they were calling out the truths I hadn’t dared to believe about faith and church and most of all Jesus.

If only we could grasp the concept that disagreeing doesn’t mean we can’t abide in beautiful friendships together. It only means we can have a richer experience as we weave several idea into one purpose. It gives us the ability to hear and be heard. To learn and to teach.

We are all singing different parts in the chorus but it doesn’t mean we can’t make gorgeous harmonies. When we tune out our friends because they challenge our thoughts or our plans, we so easily miss the chance to view life from another perspective.

In listening to different voices, we are more able to live gently and love passionately.  It doesn’t mean always agreeing with the ideas but believing in the value of the person who shares them. Micah 6:8 says it like this: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”

Authenticity breeds humility which allows me to remain true to who God has made me to be.