Shameless

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I really miss those pants.

Such fun I had dancing in those pants. They just would go *swish* *swish*  and swirl and twirl around me when I moved.

Such happy pants. 

Anyways, I am alive. I am alive, and that is awesome. My sheer existence is a miracle. I am irreplaceable. Did you know that you are irreplaceable, too? I know; I know. You may or may not hear that at your job. You might have that one relative who spouts criticism 24/7, it seems. But you are! You are irreplaceable!

You are one of a kind. You are full of glory. You could literally just sit there on your butt all day, and you would be breathtakingly amazing. (Not that I recommend that; you could get stiff after a while.) You are a treasure. You are a gem.

It is time that we tossed shame to the door. We do not need it. It is not humility. It is like an evil version of Pac-Man who wants to eat you alive and put out your fire. For those of you who need the reminder: God does not see you as a worthless piece of crap sinner who He looks forward to “teaching a lesson” or tossing into a hot, fiery pit of lava to scary little creatures with pitchforks. You are precious in the sight of God. God is not ashamed of you. In fact, God is delighted with you. Yes, go ahead. Get over your crappy self-perception!

LIVE SHAMELESS.

Worthy?

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(If you have not read The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker, I would highly recommend it. Stories, I find, have a way of communicating things to the heart in a way that your best sermon, newspaper article or inspiring speech do not even come close to. This book is no exception. And . . . its themes tie in with the topic of this particular blog post.)

Value.

Let us talk about value.

So, I was in my early teens when I heard Clay Aiken sing a song called Measure of a Man. It was nice listen. I would tune in simply because it sounded beautiful. But it is also one of those songs that gets you to thinking. You hear people say, “Well, you can tell what this guy is worth by _________ .” They could fill in this blank with actions, character attributes, social status, appearance,  economic status . . . and even how high one up one is on the FBI’s most wanted list.

Depending on who you talk to, you are going to run into different opinions.

If you are raised up in some degree of religiosity, you might even run into another fun little qualifier: your ability to please God. Now, certain people clue in a little quicker than their fellows to the reality that on your best day jumping through hoops and keeping commandments, this is futile. You cannot make God like you. God is either going to like you, or God is not going to like you. That depends entirely on the nature and character of the Deity you are worshipping.

And at some point, people may realize that the same applies to the rest of humanity. You cannot make someone like you. They are either going to like you, or they are not going to like you.

Who do you believe you are? Who do you believe your fellow humans to be? Who do you believe God to be? Your POV (point of view) is going to greatly influence how you interact with the world around you.

For instance, if your POV is that God is head-over-heels in love with you and the rest of humanity, it is probably going translate into how you treat people (including yourself). If you believe that there is goodness and worth inside of every human being, it is going to translate into how you treat people. You may give a few more hugs and words of encouragement. You may have more patience  with everybody (including yourself)—especially when tripping and falling over one’s own two feet occurs. You may be quicker to forgive everyone.

But if your POV is that God hates you and that you and your fellow human beings are worthless pieces of crap . . . I will let you use your imagination here. 

Finally, if your POV consists of measuring your fellow human beings based on some sort of standard you learned as a kid or made up in your head, and you measure yourself by this same standard, you are going to run into challenges. These are naturally complicated by believing that God who thinks the same way about everybody as you do. It turns into a rollercoaster of emotions.

He loves me. He loves me not. She loves me. She loves me not. 

We wonder why people have self-esteem issues. Mental breakdowns. Do crazy stuff. Maybe it has a little to do with this???

 

A Goat at the Masquerade

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I would like to invite you all now to join me at a very peculiar party. All the other guests in attendance are wearing masks. You get the sense that such a thing is expected at this party. You feel the pressure to fit it in—to stand out. And yet . . . to not stand out at the same time. The desire to feel normally unique just like everyone else.

There are all manner of masks, and many have gathered about into groups—according to color, according to theme, according to size, etc.  You sense a rivalry between these groups. You notice how rarely they exchange dance partners with each other.

Other. Because there are others here. They fail to notice that all alike wear masks. All alike play false rolls in the silence of the shadows.

*Cue creepy music*

They are staring at you like you are naked. You do not have on a mask. Different groups quickly offer you one of their own in an attempt to “save your dignity.”

As if your bare face were something to be ashamed of. 

They call it a “covering.”

It is at that point that something rather curious happens.

A goat. 

*Cue party music with balloons*

With a loud, bleating “baaaaahh!,” the goat runs into the room with a pack of little goat friends, knocking people over. Masks fall off, and people freak—scrambling for their beloved face-covers.

It is at this point that you recognize a couple of your old friends—people quite dear to your heart. They are scattered across separate groups. You know that these people belong together. They are not meant to be as they are.

Everyone is suddenly united in one cause: catching the goat & company—and getting them under control. They must not be allowed to run about like that. It is too dangerous, too disruptive.

You decide you rather like the goat. It is a bit annoying and obnoxious to the ones who want to maintain the order and status quo, but it is cute and fuzzy and helping you see people as they truly are. It also nuzzles you affectionately and looks adoringly at your bare face.

And amidst all the “chaos,” people are starting to see each other’s again . . . despite their best efforts.

*Cue overly dramatic music*

To be continued . . .