When I was a child, my mother asked me what I wanted to dress up as for Halloween. I wanted to be a clown so she made me a blue and red clown suit. I wore it for two or three years before I outgrew it.
As I reached middle school, our youth pastor had a clown ministry where he would take groups of clowns to hospitals, nursing homes, and centers for the developmentally disabled. I was excited to participate, but nervous, too. As with any teenager, I had that uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin feeling. As we did skits, made animal balloons, practiced a few magic tricks, and generally acted stupid to make people laugh, I discovered something. As soon as I stepped into my clown suit and makeup, I could be anyone I wanted to be because no one knew who I was. It freed me to be myself. It allowed me to step out of the role of serious, responsible, Christian teenager trying to be perfect at everything. The clown suit enabled me to drop the person I was trying to be—the person people expected me to be as a Christian teenager—and just be silly, outgoing, and gregarious. I could just have fun.
I spent most of my adult life in an uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin awkward place. I wanted to be an author. I wanted to be a full-time writer. I called myself “a scribe for the Lord.” As much as I love writing, it never fit right. It was like trying to be the serious, respectable Christian teenager, minus the teenager part.
Recently, I had an Ah-Ha moment. The funny, pun-filled Dragon Hollow books were my truest self. The silly things I’ve done are my truest self. People have said, “Don’t do that if you want people to take you seriously” or “Some Christians might take offense or think you’re being disrespectful to God.” Those kinds of comments stripped the fun out of my writing because they stripped me out of my writing. I lost my love of writing for a long time, but I didn’t know what else to do.
I now realize I was never meant to be “a scribe for the Lord.” I was meant to be “a jester in the King’s court.” When I step into that role, it feels so natural. It frees me to be myself. It energizes me. When I put on that court jester suit, I can be who I really am.