I didn’t discover how little I knew my high-school classmates until our Senior Challenge trip. During one long, rainy hike, personalities and attitudes emerged—for better and for worse. I remember thinking, “We should have done this four years ago!” If you really want to get to know someone, head into the woods. Ironically, it’s harder to hide in there.
For example, what do we say when someone asks, “How are you?” Even if you caught me on my way home to confront a family of raccoons taking over my kitchen, I would probably say “Fine!” I know, that question is often just an extended greeting in the hallway. “Hi?” step, step “How are you?” step, step “Fine!” Pass… But we do hide, and we know it.
We come by our dishonesty honestly. Adam and Eve hid…naked…from God Almighty…behind fig leaves. (Cue Dr. Phil: “How’s that working for ya?”) We are the only animals that know we’re naked. (Except for the poodle I had as a child. She’d cower in the corner after a haircut until you paid her a compliment—and she could tell whether you really meant it.) Nevertheless, this nakedness thing is a great piece of evidence that our human dignity has been spoiled in some way.
Consider, these fig leaves we hide behind…
- Poker Face: An executive who can’t shift out of work mode.
- Mr./Ms. Smiley: A person burned too many times in transparency.
- Picture-perfect: A mom identifying too much with her kids’ behavior.
- The Chairman: A leader wrapping his low sense of self-worth in his position.
Do you have the freedom to live large and out loud? Author Brennan Manning makes this observation: “In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.
This week, even if you don’t believe as I do that God once lived a human life, consider the message of Easter–
You may be unworthy, but you are not worthless.
This week, even if you think parts of your life are beyond healing and redemption, consider the message of Easter–
Define yourself as loved by God. That’s your true self. Every other identity is illusion.
This Easter, consider: What is your fig leaf?