I tried to be all riled up today but I just couldn't. Usually I write whilst all riled up. It is my muse.
Today I am going to write from a neutral or maybe even philanthropic standpoint.
Hang on tight.
A teacher friend of mine said something that I have heard so many times in the christian circles of my life. The statement was presented without malice. Actually, it was a call to the deep inner places of the heart. He called for goodness. He called for selflessness. He called out for us to honor our Maker.
And all his words hurt my soul.
The statement-(in thought and meaning, not directly quoted)
"I hope that in hearing this you hear my goal. That I would go through my days in such a way that you would see and hear my Father and not me."
I wondered at this thought. And for a moment, at all the thoughts I had encountered and embraced along these lines.
More of you and less of me.
How many times do we say it? How many times do we wish it with all of our good christian hearts?
Sincerely we plead, "Let them see only You, Lord. Remove me from this. Let only Your words be heard. Show me how to move and speak in such a way that the world does not see me, but only You."
We have been taught quite scripturally (John 3:30) that we are to be less to His more.
That the world should be seeing Jesus. Only Jesus.
And I am here to say...I disagree.
First of all, think about it for a minute...
what parent pats their child on the head and sends them off for their day and thinks..."wow. great kid. I hope nobody looks at her today. Or if they do, I hope that all they see is me."
what parent reads their child's beautiful dissertation and expects to be footnoted..."all thoughts and references mentioned in the above text are to be exclusively attributed to my Father."
what parent says to their child, "only use my words today honey. all your words are meaningless."
and what parent expects their child to love while saying (or feeling) , "you know, this is my Father loving you. Without Him I would not be able to pull it off."
[I have no neutral position on that last statement so I won't dwell on it.]
I do not believe that our Father expects us to disappear within His glory. I believe that He created us unique and worthy to be and do all of life as ourselves.
And I think that is part of His Glory.
I understand the sentiment. God of the Universe. He has good things to say! His actions are pretty spectacular and He never makes mistakes. More of Him. Really worthy goal.
I am not necessarily advocating a life of "look at me!" That's baby talk really. Immaturity.
We have been trained to see it as arrogance. A need for attention. Not very christian.
At the very least, not very grown up.
And that has become our worshipped goal. To grow up. Be mature. Lose the need to be seen.
So I just want to put this to you...
What did Jesus mean when He said...and I quote...
Matthew 18: 2-3
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Maybe He likes our immature, humiliating, look-at-me, selves.
What if our cries...at the very core...are "can you see me?"
We are told from day one in our christian walk to put ourselves aside. we are told that we are unworthy and screwed up and mess makers. we are told that taking on Jesus is the way to be worthy because only He is worthy.
That is the nugget of truth within the lie...He is the worthy one if we are comparing.
But that is not the topic or issue here.
All He did, He did to reveal our worth. Worth.
He sees you. He sees me. He wants me to see you...as I see myself.
Created. Unique. With a voice and actions that are my own. I am not Jesus. I am not God.
Why would I expect to be seen as such?
If He took the time to make me as I am (yes, yes and that is ever changing and growing more like Him because He is cool)
if He took the time to make me...me, maybe my Father expects me to act like me. Not 'just' Jesus.
This joke has impacted me since childhood.
There is this preacher who gives an impassioned sermon one Sunday. He felt very inspired and sure that He had delivered the very words of God.
After the service he stands at the back and shakes hands with the congregation.
One little lady says "Brother, those were good words your preached today."
The preacher points to heaven and lowers his eyes and says, "The words of God, Sister, the words of God."
And she pats him on the hand and says, "well, they weren't THAT good."
It is ok to be who we were created to be. We will most assuredly mess up sometimes. He gets that.
And I don't think it scares Him.
I have a need to be seen. To be known. To be understood. After all that is said and done I have a need to be loved because I am me.
I still want to be like Jesus. It is a worth-while goal.
But if I put my entire existence into losing myself to gain His glory then maybe I shortchange Him.
Just something I want you to think about. I'm thinking about it.