He walks into our bedroom. No, it’s more of a strut—like a peacock with plumage full up. He’s looking good and he knows it.
“Thanks,” he says, trying hard not to break his cool appearance with even a slight grin.
He’s dressed in short-sleeved pink with clip-on tie sporting some long-sleeved shirt underneath. My next blog post inspiration has arrived and I ask him if he wants to model. He’s thrilled, so off we go to the loft library to pose in front of the stone fireplace because he thinks it will make a great background for his outfit.
And he begins. One pose after another as I click away, he’s having fun creating personas. And I smile and we laugh.
Then abruptly—he tells me he needs to shower. It’s 7:30 AM.
What? Why did you get all dressed before you took a shower?
“I forgot.” No further explanation.
Not unusual that he does things a bit backwards.
So, as he heads off to get clean, I think.
I think about posing and doing things backwards.
Aware of God’s healing hand with much of my posing, I give thanks and pray hard for further deliverance. I pray hard for the ability to lay my burden down because humans are such constant assessors. I know this full well and such knowledge has made me nervous. I know how we size each other up so quickly and decide how much we want to relate. . . or not.
Who’s dressed right, who’s most attractive, who’s most intelligent, who’s most successful, who’s most personable, who’s most talented, who’s most helpful, who’s most spiritual, who’s most . . . like . . . me?
We know others do to us what we do to them. And so we pose. We put our best on the outside and keep the dirt underneath. We wave hands and flash smiles hoping to distract and impress. But deep down we know . . .
We know our hidden dirt and we fear others peering beneath the façade. So we keep things light and shallow. We hide. We send strong signals to stay behind the lens and don’t get too close, please. Close shots reveal imperfections that shame strong—the sin we’ve done or the ugly we can be that we’d rather not show or even admit.
And so it goes. Posing people walking fearful of being real and being discovered and being deemed not worthy, we pose to avoid rejection, condemnation.
We pose in cages called Alienation—one for each soul. And we rarely, if ever, step out. We won’t risk being seen, being touched. We remain caged by opinions and burdened by fear. Freedom and peace and joy elude because we can’t let go and take off. And we see others from distant soul places, never touching, never really knowing. We remain alone. Deeply alone. Pathetically alone—no matter how many “relationships” we have.
What’s to become of our sorry lot of lonely, scared, and heavy laden souls?
Come and lay down. Come and let go. Come to the safe place—the presence of Christ.
We mortal, frail creatures were never meant to carry these soul-crushing loads. Jesus volunteers to free us in love if we will let Him. He lifts soul loads too human heavy and replaces with peace—His peace which is pure. He invites us into His presence, just as we are, all soul-stained and scared.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29
This is the promise of Christ. To come into His presence and think only of God’s opinion and not of our own or others’—this is rest—this is freedom. This rest, this freedom has never been the world’s to give and never will be.
We need real rest from our striving and posing. We need a real Savior who seeks the hiding, who sees soul stains and still loves, always gently loves, enough to see beauty beneath, to make whole once again.
No human opinion could ever cage us again if our focus remains on the One who sets us free to be exactly as we are, broken but fully loved, on our way to wholeness with the only One capable of taking our burden and exchanging it for true rest.
We can stop posing now. We can be at peace—now.
And as we fix our eyes on Jesus—our peace—perhaps others will wonder what we see. Everyone is looking for this peace. They just don’t know where to look. Will we show them with our eyes?
Will we let them see into us who have no fear of being seen because our eyes are fixed on Jesus who is always FOR us and never AGAINST us? Will we let them see God at work lovingly in our less-than-perfect souls? Will we let them feel the grace and peace that comes from such free and easy relationship?
We are His holy handiwork—not yet complete but on our way—completely loved and accepted just as much now as we ever will be.
If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31