Tell a better story || Sarah Bessey

Sometimes, I’m just so tired of All the Reacting. Every one is always reacting to every one else’s work, and right now, I want to create. I want to create my own work, not react to or critique someone else’s work. I want to build something beautiful and true, I want to call things that are not, as they should be.

I’m over reacting or evangelistic debate commenting or weighing in or unfruitful arguing. I can’t lose sleep when someone is wrong or mean on the Internet. I’ve fallen quiet, even withdrawn a bit lately, because I can’t absorb it all without withering.

I would rather create than react.

So I’m not interested in being sweet and inoffensive, I’m not interested in playing church or sorority girls with anyone. I’m not interested in confusing conformity with unity.

And I’m also not interested in being the Go-To Feminist or Post-Evangelical or Mama-Bear for every weird and terrible response and open-letter (actually, I’m just over open-letters, period). I’m not called to hold every person who’s wrong on the Internet to accountability. That’s not me. I’m thankful for those who do this important work – I read them, and I learn. But I cherish my status as an outsider to the mainstream striving arenas and debates.

I need to tell a better story, a beautiful story, an unconditional love-filled truthful story.  I’m not a preacher or a teacher, and I’m realising that I am not a good “react-er” either – wait a tick, is that even a word? I don’t think it is, unless the word “nuclear” is in front of it, which may be apropos for the tone of some rhetoric.  Reacting sucks the life out of me.

Instead of big arguments and point-by-point apologetics, instead of reacting to slights, imagined or legitimate, political or religious or relational, I long to get on with my Father’s business, to live into freedom in my real walking-around life, and I pray there’s an invitation in there somewhere. 

I left behind that old gate-keeper pontificating performance-hamster-wheel of religion a long time ago. Despite invitations, I’m not going back to the The Table to keep fighting for legitimacy or permission. Let them fight. I’ve got a life to live and a song to sing.

I long to offer real gritty grace that enters into the mess and complexity while valuing people and choosing tough love – not fake grace that masquerades as apologism or silence. I long to worship. I long to live prophetically, somehow, into a reality of Jubilee and Kingdom Come – and I have babies to raise, and a husband to love, a house to keep, bills to pay.

So I’d rather write a better and real story than a point-by-point defense, and I long to really see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I want to live out an embodiment of the Love I’ve experienced and know. I can’t live – let alone write – a better story if I’m being swept up in a million comments and expectations and Twitter mock-fests and Facebook debates and frustrations and whirlwinds of offense.

I can’t create, if I’m constantly busy reacting.  Some of my best work – on-screen and off – comes when I’m listening more than I’m talking, when I’m creating instead of reacting, when I’m choosing to offer grace instead of epic sarcasm, when I swallow a few words, walk away, and come back again, later, to try all over again to make a little space for God, here in the light of day, outside where I belong.


This post is an edited version of an old post. I’ve forgotten how to write again so needed this reminder.


In which I embody a story
In which the light is breaking through
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