Every time chipmunk
You venture out of your hole
You think better of it.
This may be obvious already to many people, but I want to take just a moment to remind everyone that you do not need to make an apology for who you are and what you believe.
And by apology I mean two things.
I mean, first, a plea for approval;
I mean, second, a formal justification or defense.
It is one thing to explain yourself because someone misunderstands you; it is another thing altogether to feel as though the thoughts and feelings of others will vindicate you in some way. If you are, like me, a sensitive sort of person, you may have learned an unfortunate vigilance in tracking how other people draw acceptance circles of varying sizes and permeability. This undo focus on others’ circles of acceptance has kept you from drawing your own circle, as big or small as you please. Other people are powerful – they are charismatic, imposing, or ruthlessly logical, and have learned to bully others out by defining the rules of behavior and discourse. We fall into that game when we buy into the notion that we need to justify ourselves to them. Such justification is expected of us.
The kingdom of heaven, however, comes with its own economy and its own logic. If you try to justify the kingdom of heaven with earthly language – issuing a formal defense of its existence and right to be – you may succeed in part but only at the cost of severely deforming it. You will be left with a hollow shell and nothing more, which may deceive others for a while in the same way that a cicada shell might fool someone until the wind comes and blows it away. This does not speak of the inadequacy of the kingdom of heaven, but the inadequacy of human language to bear it. By analogy: an analysis of a piece of music may be right, but only a fool would think that it is a suitable stand-in, or that the beauty of the music has been reliably and adequately conveyed. Understanding the kingdom of heaven is simply a matter of listening to that deep music that flows through the world.