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.
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
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