Why A Kiss on the Lips? The Proverb, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips”, speaks volumes to me. The current posture of the church, particularly as she relates to her fellow man, seems to be saying that honesty-truth- is harsh. And that we ought to tread very carefully when we speak the truth to others. While there is some wisdom in that; I believe we have forgotten that the truth, like a tender kiss, is a powerful expression of love.
I grew up in a large and very affectionate family. My father is a 2nd generation Italian American. If you are from or know an Italian family you know everyone is kissing everyone all the time. In the first year of my marriage my poor husband realized the fullness of what it meant to be in an Italian family when we traveled back to Chicago to honor my Nana at her funeral. After being there for about an hour, greeting everyone in a way that was completely normal to me, I turned to see my husband wide eyed with a nervous smile. I asked him if he was okay to which he replied “I’ve never been kissed so many times in my life. Even the men here are kissing me on the lips.” And while it was a bit of culture shock he felt very loved and felt he was part of the family. Kissing is so natural to me. It is a warm welcome. It says I will miss you when you’re gone. It is the comfort when I’m hurting. It is a tender embrace. It makes me feel secure, feel safe. It tells me I am wanted, cared about…. I whole heartedly believe the spoken truth, like a kiss, is an all encompassing gesture of love.
What is the truth? The Word is the truth. Jesus is the truth. The truth is love. The truth is the breaker of chains. The truth is the refuge of the oppressed. The truth is the redeemer of souls. The truth is the healer of affliction. The truth is our hope. The truth is our peace. The truth is our strength. The truth is the only thing that sets us free. Why then do we shy away from it? Why do we hesitate to offer the very thing, the only thing, that can help anybody??? Our nicety, our kindnesses offer only more death if they are not tempered by and founded in the truth.
I desire to give you all a real deal Italian kiss on the lips. I want my words to be a warm welcome. I want my words to be a comfort, a tender embrace. When you read this blog I want you to feel wanted and cared about. I want you to leave here feeling loved. And above all else I desire to speak the truth. I cannot take that lightly. As scary as it is to lay myself bare before you all; I have realized that to not speak the truth would have far more terrible consequences.
All my love,