I often pass myself off as more put-together than I really am, but most nights I sit down after a long social gathering and I beat myself up for all the dumb cheesy things I said, and things I wish I had said differently or didn’t say at all, and how off-balance and weird and twitchy I must look, and how I’m not really making progress on becoming this whole acceptable well-adjusted cool approachable guy that everyone else seems to be already without even trying.
I end up thinking I’ve failed something, or lost at life somehow. I replay that joke I told which completely bombed and derailed the banter. I sometimes think everyone else has this secret ingredient to being blended in so smoothly to the inner-circle, like there’s this key or password that no one has told me about, and maybe one day I’ll achieve that code and I can go home in peace without this stomach full of remorseful anxiety over my lack of tact and style, and it’ll be as easy as those wrinkle-free people in fast-talking movies.
Does this happen to you too? The late night regret twitch? Social hangover? The crazy replay loop?
Occasionally we let someone in, we open the folds of our insecurity and give access to the darkest parts of us. We hand over the key, and it’s terrifying. And sometimes they bump into a raw nerve, they say a callous insensitive remark, they ridicule a strange notion we have, they poke at our dreams just a bit. It hurts pretty bad and we push them out and fold up fast. We remind ourselves, “This is why I don’t let anyone in.” And we run.
It’s right here that most people apologize like crazy. They feel terrible. They were trying to figure out how to navigate the labyrinth of your wonderful story. It’s like holding a tiny flash light in a cave of a new world. They didn’t mean to provoke those old wounds. They didn’t mean to poke fun at your dreams. They considered it an honor that they held the key, even for a few frenzied moments.
Intimacy takes work, trust, wounds, hurts, sculpting in the dark: and that takes time. It takes more than a single chance. Of course we can close the doors, at any second, when we know it just won’t work. But there are many opportunities if we had trusted a little longer, reset the tempo, and spoke up louder: it would’ve been okay. Bridges would be built. New stories are made. You find your hand closing around theirs. They begin to traverse the folds of your heart with ease, and they learn to say those things which give life, which give freedom, which grow dreams. Intimacy is formed out of stumbling, but further down the path: there is so much light, so much laughter, so many steps to the horizon together.
A great article by Mike Cosper at The Gospel Coalition.
A cover photo for Intelligent Life magazine caused a small stir recently because it dared the unthinkable: show a celebrity’s actual face. Cate Blanchett, 42, appears on the cover in little makeup, her smile lines and wrinkles un-retouched. She looks less like an Hollywood star and more like a dignified human being, like someone you might see drinking tea at a neighborhood Starbucks.
To the flesh-and-blood human being, whose body ages and whose face wrinkles, these ageless icons whisper, “You’re not good enough. You too fat, too old, too thin, too flat, to curved, too poor, too pale, too tan. Your Maker has held out on you. You’re a fading, dying thing that doesn’t measure up . . . but you won’t surely die. Follow me, and you can be young, beautiful, and successful forever.”
They hold forth an impossible standard of beauty, and consumers religiously pursue that standard—this dress, that makeup, this Botox, that surgical enhancement, this lipo, that diet, this tuck, that lift—on and on it goes like a sacred pilgrimage where ageless beauty can be yours for a pound of flesh. It rebuts the Creator who made us fearfully and wonderfully, numbering our hairs and our days, and called grey hair our glory because it signifies a life wisely lived (Proverbs 16:31).
Continue Reading at The Gospel Coalition
— Everyone Else’s Vision For You
— Celebrity Endorsement: Putting Faith In A God
— The Women of the Bible: Series On Biblical Women
— Dear Facebook Perverts
— When Friends Become Idols: Symbiotic Vampirism