Stick with me here. I want to take you on a journey that begins with this confession:

I think I'm part of a cover-up.

As I was working this afternoon, I wondered why I didn't "flaunt" my minister status to my coworkers. By now, most of them know I'm a minister, but I haven't "unleashed the fury" of being a pastor upon them. Case in point: people drop f-bombs around me and I don't correct them. Plus, I've overheard a few of them talking about sexual escapades and I haven't rebuked them. Am I cowering from being the voice of God to a group of heathens? Why don't I go medieval on them?

Obviously, one of the reasons I wouldn't go Pat Robertson on them is because I don't have a deep relationship with them yet. Maybe some day I could be close enough to them to discuss topics of grace and sin. But right now, I really want to redefine their concepts of what a minister is like.

My job [minister, not Panera Bread Associate] could possibly be the most hated profession in the world. Why? Because the wrap on ministers is that they preach at everyone else not to do things that they themselves are probably doing. Our churches are full of hypocrites and preachers rule the roost. Just this evening I saw a news teaser about a local minister who plead guilty to embezzlement. With everything going on in this world, this is the story they lead with? Of course! Everyone loves to see the man of God fall. So I ask . . .

Am I proud of being a minister? And if so, why don't I want people to know?

Hmmm. That's a good one. Let me answer it this way:

Say I was a stripper [for some disturbing reason, I think I've written that before]. Not only that, say I was an awesome stripper, having the perfect combination of the stripping and the teasing. Maybe I even won critical acclaim for being a stripper [a Strippie, perhaps]. If I was a heathen, I'd probably be proud, but who could I tell? Not my mother, that's for sure. I doubt I'd ever brag to people about my awesome strippiness. Why? Because it's just not an admirable profession.

I'd say that's almost how I feel about being a minister. I know, not a perfect analogy, but that's how I feel. Yes, my friends and family are proud but to the person that's at odds with Jesus, I might as well be a murderer. Which is why I hide it so much. Those are the people who I want to reach so desperately. I don't want to be prejudged by them. I'd like for them to at least get to know me a little better before they hate me.

So in a way, I'm a fake, but I'm showing people [slowly] what I'm all about. I don't think I'm misleading people by withholding that part of me, just presenting it piece by piece. One day, they'll get the Full Monte. So I guess you could say that I am a stripper. Or am I just a tease?

Mom would be so proud.