Authenticity for Jesus

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I’ve been writing my story.  Everyone has one, you know.  You have a story, too.  It’s one of the tools we’ve been given to overcome darkness in our sad world. John the Apostle explains:

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.  Revelation 12: 11

Their testimony.  Not the testimony of another.  Their own.  … loved not their lives until the death… I have thought about how in our attempt to love our lives, we tell a testimony that is clean cut, white collared, admirable.  A crafted and carved story fit to share.  Modifying the real thing.  Omitting parts.  Changing reality to better fit what should have been, rather than what was.  Real life stories are messy.  Taking history of patients in emergency room 19 years I learned to quickly separate lies being told me from the raw truth.  Lies flow nicely.  Fit together in perfect symmetry.  Life story never does. 

It’s convoluted. 

Embarrassing. 

Shameful. 

Complicated. 

Too good to be true.

And too bad.

We fib an attractive life story into shape.  Who wants to be that single tree downed and rotten clear through amidst a forest of strong and admirable types?  Not me, not you.  And so we pretend.  Hold our heads high and omit what has been, and what is.  We won’t call it lying.  We say we’re not complainers.  Justify that we don’t need to tell something that will make another look bad.  We call it looking on the bright side.  Truth is, nobody has a squeaky clean story.  We are all harmed and wounded by this hard thing called living.  We add to the harm by pretending we didn’t live the pain we did.    

Partly what makes evil so evil is how beautiful it presents itself on the outside.   

The shiny red apple. 

It’s the symbol we use to embody the fall. 

Craving what is beautiful

– ignoring the death in it’s meat. 

Healing calls to truth.  Calls for something rather awkward for this face-saving self.  We hide and tell what isn’t in an attempt to love a life that never was, rather than share the testimony of a messy life lived to the glory of God.  Becoming a truth teller requires not loving my life.  Doing so for the benefit of one who might relate and grasp onto a Jesus that heals real messes.  It requires giving up my pretense for Jesus sake.

Let my desire for beauty

Reach for beautiful Jesus

He who looks more beautiful still

In the reflection of my trash heap story

What He has done for me

Means less

When I cover up my trashy story

Pretending my life has really been

The daisy covered meadow

Tis a choice, really

I choose my messy testimony

For Jesus Sake

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6 comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I’ve been writing my life from two perspectives. The first story relates events from the perspective that I was an unwanted tenth child, and goes down from there. The second relates the same events from the perspective of that on the day I was born my siblings danced and sang in the kitchen after the news came that I was a girl. Their chant? 5 in 5! 5in 5! My birth created balance and order, five boys five girls. I am finding that looking at both stories is good. To validate the difficulties, and to recognize that there is always a different perspective to look at my life from. I can choose to reframe, to seek out those other perspectives for the positive reality. I think they both can be true. Acknowledging the painful bits, while considering what gifts might have come from those bits, helps me to stay out of the space of shame, victim and blame.
    Namaste

    Like

    • As I mentioned, sometimes real life is too good to be true, too bad to be true. A made up story is never a good story to tell. I’m addressing the fantasy that we create out of what hurt so much. Those who harm us never have horns and a tail. They are usually loving kind dear people and harmful people all at the same time. Our stories complete include the beauty and the raw. Yes, a great way to write your story… two from different perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.”
        John Randolf 1773-1833
        Xo

        Like

  2. Fabulous life view this morning from my table at the Lime Kiln Cafe at Roche Harbor. How true your words! Thank you for sharing your insights!

    Liked by 1 person

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