This weekend, I met one of my heroes, Jon Acuff, the best-selling author of Stuff Christians Like, Quitter, and Gazelles, Baby-steps, and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt. It was an exciting and nerve wracking experience. Jon Acuff’s writing has impacted my life and my faith more than almost anyone else has. In fact, were it not for his writing, I would never have started this blog. What do you say to someone who’s impacted your life to that extent without sounding like a creepy stalker?
A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon the blog version of Stuff Christians Like, and had myself a few laughs. In the blog, Jon Acuff, pokes fun at some of the silly things that we Christians enjoy, such as “saying ‘I’ll pray for you’ and then not”, “Fearing the Rapture would come before you lost your virginity,” and, of course, the ever popular Christian “side hug.”
I began reading this site regularly. Because I grew up in the church, I could relate to most of the posts, and it often had me rolling out of my chair in laughter. But as time went on, something happened.
Many of Jon Acuff’s posts on Stuff Christians Like have, and continue to, convict, encourage, and inspire me, and help me clear away some of the “clutter of Christianity” that I have allowed to block out Christ in my life. But one post stuck out to me above all others.
In the post “Confessing Safe Sins”, Acuff points out that many Christians are afraid to talk about their darker struggles with their fellow Christians. We may admit it when we haven’t been reading our Bible enough, but we hesitate to talk about our porn addiction, and so on. Someone needs to begin these discussions. Someone needs to step out of his/her comfort zone and admit a “dangerous” sin. Someone needs to ask for help and prayer FIRST, so that others can have the “gift of going SECOND.”
And so, I began a blog on this premise. I wanted to confess sins that others were afraid to confess. I wanted to talk about taboo issues. I wanted to give people the gift of going second. Jon Acuff had given me that gift, and I wanted to pass it on to others. And I hope I have done that and can continue to do that.
So…what DID I say to Jon Acuff? Well, I thanked him and gave him a side hug. And I’m pretty sure that a side hug is worth more than words.