Have you ever bought a pair of shoes because they were cute, no matter how they felt when you tried them on? Come on, admit it…I know I’m not the only one.
We do this with more than shoes, you know. We do this in life. We think that we need to put on the cute. The fashionable. The easy to look at.
Photo courtesy of http://www.stockfreeimages.com/
I’m talking about the persona we put on.
We all do it. When someone asks, “How are you?” We say fine. Fine.
I don’t know where these unreal exteriors come from – I don’t think it is from tv or magazines…I think it is something deeper. Was Eve like that after the garden? She and Adam trying to carve out a life in a desolate area after being evicted from God’s glorious garden. Adam asks Eve, “How you doing honey?” Does she say, “fine.” Meanwhile screaming in her head…how do you think I’m doing we live in a desert, I disappointed God and these animal skins make me look fat!
We take on these unreal expectations that we can’t say things like, “times are tough” or “I’ve been better.” Or “God’s working something out in me.” Nope, we’re fine…just ask us.
We had an event to go to earlier in the year and I needed a pair of new black heels to go with the dress I was going to wear. So, I bought these these super high, super cute black heels. So trendy. High heels. Barbie shoes, they are.
I put them on and tried to walk through my house. Channeling Marilyn Monroe I stood up straight and tossed my hips a little when I walked. Oooh, I was gonna turn my hunky hubby’s head with these. But in two or three steps I realized I was not Marilyn Monroe, heck I wasn’t even Marilyn Manson in these things! In order to stay up right I had to take tiny little steps and concentrate with every move. It wasn’t going to happen. I was not meant to wear Barbie shoes.
We are not meant to wear Barbie shoes.
When God calls us into relationship with Him, he calls us as we are. He knows that we are all just hot messes looking for a place to happen. He knows that our truths – the realities of our sin, our hurts, and our lives aren’t pretty. He knows we are more like our feet than our shoes.
I think there is some comfort in that, when I really stop to realize that I don’t have to tell God my reality. He knows it. He knows the anger I struggle with and my love-hate relationship with food. He knows the world’s expectations for wives and mothers, and the realities of trying to raising a family while working full time. He knows the difficulties and stress of caring for an elderly parent while we are raising our family. He knows the difficulties and loneliness of being single. He knows our struggles to put down the labels of our past. He sees who we are under our cover of “fine”.
When we put on our “fine”, our Barbie shoes, we are covering up who we are, how much we need a Savior, and what Jesus is doing in our lives. Our fines not only distort our realities, but they discount the character and work of God.
The Words I speak about God’s good news mean more to someone who can see that my words are true because of the way I live, the way I behave. Letting people see God’s truth at work in my life means letting them into my life. (paraphrase from the book “Missional Mom”) Sharing God’s truth in my life isn’t about having a perfectly clean house, this season’s fashions, the “right” words or having my stuff altogether. Sharing the truth of my life, being authentic, is an invitation for others to join into my life, no matter how messy my house may be, literally or figuratively, may be. It is about dropping the fine…and getting real.
It’s about understanding that underneath our cute we are all feet.
Let’s start getting real, today. For one day, ban the word “fine” from your vocabulary when someone asks how you are tell them the truth, the messy, real, this is who I am truth. And be prepared to ask real questions, not “how are you?” (Cuz we aren’t gonna let fine be the answer)…ask “how can I pray for you” or “what is God doing in your life?”
Take off your cute…your fine…you’ll find deeper relationships and chances to share Jesus lie underneath.