In My Undies

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All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.  –Psalm 22:17

It’s a recurring dream — you may have had a similar one.  I’m walking through a school or a church, rushing to get somewhere, and I realize I’m wearing only my underwear!

The rest of the dream is spent desperately trying to find something else to wear, and failing spectacularly.  Sometimes people notice, point, and laugh.  Always I feel extremely vulnerable.

I think that’s the point of that particular dream.  It’s a subconscious reflection of me feeling vulnerable about something.  My near nakedness in the dream symbolizes an inability to hide myself from others.

Dreams of being naked or near naked frequently make Top 10 lists of common dreams.  We have these dreams because many of us share that same fear:  Forced to reveal ourselves more than is comfortable.

This is not just physical, having our “bones on display”.  It’s more mental or even spiritual.  Having our inner most thoughts, fantasies and fears displayed for others.  Near panic at the notion of people knowing the real us.

What would have to change to make all those scary dreams go away?  Could the world decide it’s time to shed any unneeded clothes and walk around just as God made us?  Or if we all took a couple years of therapy could we develop a healthier self esteem, with no need to hold back who we are?

It just seems such a shame that you and I, created in God’s Image, have to spend so much energy trying to obscure ourselves from others.  It must be some consequence of our sinful nature that our very thoughts and traits can seem unsuitable for public viewing.

This is something we can work on.  We can seek to be more transparent, less terrified of being vulnerable.  We can admit our faults, be faithful with our gifts, and trust to be covered by Grace when our undies are showing.

Come to think of it, many of the people I most admire are those whose soul shines so brilliantly, I don’t even notice how much they’re covered up.  These are the people whose faith helps them clothe those around them in Christ.

I want to be one of those people.  The more aggressively I practice this kind of faith, the less I’ll have that dream.  That’s the premise I’m adopting, anyway…

If that takes stripping down to my spiritual skivvies, so be it.

As for my physical body?

That’s, for now,

a subject I’ve thoroughly covered.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

Tired of being slowed down at airport security, Vince began to travel in only a pair of Speedos.

 

 

 

Transparency

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For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.  –Luke 8:17

 

So…perhaps you’re worried about your favorite presidential candidate.

Maybe they haven’t come clean about their health.  Or their tax records.

You could say that both leading presidential candidates are dealing with some transparency issues.  And it can make them look like they’ve got something to hide.

It’s a problem that anybody in the spotlight has to face:  How much goes public and how much stays private?

It’s not just a problem for famous people.  It’s a problem for you and I, too.

For instance:

If people thought you were grumpy, and it was because you have irritable bowel syndrome, that’s a transparency issue.

If fellow church members wondered why you were being so quiet, and it’s because your account was over-drafted and you didn’t know how to make it till payday, that’s a transparency issue.

If your mental illness keeps you from getting close to people, or your failing marriage keeps you from being social, or your ongoing struggle with alcohol makes you less fun at parties, those are issues with transparency!

In a better world we might share our weaknesses and illnesses with each other, expecting understanding and support, with no stigma attached. There are certain places and certain people where we can do that.

But in this world friendships hang in the balance, jobs can be on the line, and privacy can be essential.

In other words:  We can’t be transparent all the time.  It’s not always beneficial and it’s not always safe.

It’s important to remember that not everybody has to know everything about our lives…but God knows.

We must figure out how transparent to be with the people in our lives, but with God, there’s no hiding.

No holding back.

The Good News is that there’s no risk of embarrassment or judgment either.  God wants to know you, warts and all.

Here’s the cool thing:

When we willingly turn our whole lives over to God, we open ourselves to the fullness of God’s grace.  That grace is something we, in turn, can share with the people in our lives.

And the more grace we live with, the more transparent we may allow ourselves to be with others.

As for ‘Hil and Don?

I guess there may be some things that remain…

to be seen.

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

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