A way to be authentic is to be transparent—and to be honest, transparency is scarier to me. Maybe because I can visualize transparency so easily. All I need to do is look out my front window and I see transparency in the sheers that cover my window, allowing light to come in and allowing me to see out without the world seeing in. Usually. At night, when the lights are on here in the house, those sheers are transparent. They offer very little protection from people looking in. If I weren't surrounded by cornfields, if I had neighbors, I would have more than sheers on my front windows because
But, greater than my aversion to living in a fish bowl, is my desire to follow hard after God. God has called me to authenticity and transparency, and that path has put me in the fish bowl. Or so it feels. Often I feel like Namaan. You want me to do what, Lord?? Or like Gideon. How can I?
So what am I to do? Paint on a smile and act like everything is always fantastic? No. That wouldn't be obedience.
Monday evening, after an emotionally hard day wrestling the nonsense and naysaying voices in my head, I knew I had to come up with a blog post for the letter N for the a 2 z meme we're doing. It's a responsibility I committed to and skipping a week wasn't an option. I scanned through my picture collection and saw nothing. I brainstormed words that start with N and could only come up with Nothing. I've had some pretty lame a 2 z posts in the 14 weeks we've been doing this, and I really, really wanted a fun, quirky N post. But I honestly had nothing, which only served to add to the naysaying voices in my head.
In my flipping through things, (desperately) looking for ideas, I came across the word 'authentic'. Again.
Authenticity isn't always fun. It isn't always quirky. Sometimes being authentic is admitting you have nothing but nonsense and that you're so busy wrestling, and even overwhelmed by the nonsense that you need help.
It's not the upbeat portrait I wanted to paint to people who stop by. That's when God reminded me of my fish bowl. He also pointed to the sheers across the window of my life, allowing people to see in without seeing all the vivid details.
By allowing God to turn on the light—His light—on Monday night, I allowed others to look through my windows and see my struggle with the nonsense and naysayers in my head. Did they see the cause of the struggle? No. The real issue wasn't what someone said to me that kick-started the wrestling match. The real issue was that it was happening and how I was dealing with it.
It meant admitting I wasn't all I wanted to be. It meant letting people see me when I was down. It meant letting people see me wrestle. Things I'd rather not do.
Namaan's leprosy was healed when he did what God told him to. Gideon's strength against the enemy was God's presence. Guess what? On this side of the struggle, and on this side of the transparency, I still feel like Namaan and Gideon. Healed and strengthened with God's presence.
Thank you, my friends.
As we live transparently and authentically, Christ shines through us.
So tell me, do you think we can live authentically without transparency?