Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hiding behind our “glittering images”

I’m pigeon toed. I remember when I was young my Mom said to me, “Quit walking pigeon toed.” I guess she hadn’t noticed before. That night in bed I wondered why my Mom would think I would walk pigeon toed on purpose. She may not have noticed, but my brother and sisters and the kids at school had noticed for quite awhile.

I’m 61 years old and I’m still pigeon toed. I am also overweight; I have thin graying hair among other things. My question is this: What do people see when they see us? Do they see all our physical flaws or do they see our smile: Do they make assessment of our spirit and heart?

Today in our culture we go to great lengths to preserve the perceived “glittering image” of ourselves. We color our hair, wear body shapers, and get “uplift” surgeries for a number of different things in order to preserve our diminishing “glittering image”.

When we protect our “glittering image” what else might we be hiding? Self-deception is a cruel master. We may want to look good to impress others but in the process do we impress or deceive ourselves? When we practice self-deception, our conscience beckons us to be real, we squirm uncomfortably in our glittering wrappings hoping to impress one more time.

I think the kids I grew up with who are still my friends don’t even notice that I’m pigeon toed. We accept one another with all our flaws included. Should anyone think less of us because we have some physical flaw? I think not but some people do notice these things.

“Glittering images” can become dangerous when we need them to get through each day. We become tired when we run from one meeting, one relationship to another with the continual need to impress or even deceive. I do not advocate being a complete lout who never combs his hair or cleans up but some men and women have become very rich helping other people keep up their glittering images but how much “glittering” is enough? This current and upcoming recession may answer these questions for us. When the money is all gone and we can no longer impress with all the “glittering”, the decision will have been made for us.

I’m glad God is not impressed with “glittering images.” In Samuel – choice of David as King (I Samuel 16:7: "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I Cor. 1:26-31: "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."]

The good news is this—God’s in the transformation business. He is the expert on personal makeovers. Paul says in I Timothy 1:15-17: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

I may not be what I should be but praise God I’m not what I once was. God uses the willing, not the qualified. God alone transforms; I still walk pigeon toed and God doesn’t care how I walk as long as I walk with him.

If your spirit is suffering today, if you feel stupid, foolish, weak, lowly and despised, lift up your head. God uses forgiven people like you and me to change the world and through us displays His unlimited patience. Oh, thank you, Jesus, thank you. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing last night at our church. I loved what you had to share and it was good to see you again.

Your brother,
Mike Lawyer

Anonymous said...

I never noticed you were pigeon toed....


Anonymous said...

Keep on keeping on my big beautiful brother

Love Randy Moe