It’s funny. I spend a lot of time in dresses and combat boots. I don’t spend much time thinking about the origins, statement or ramifications of such a choice.  I know other people do so the effects are not lost on me but I feel no different in show wear than I so in my jammies post-performance eating Oreos and watching “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” reruns.

Ah, but then it happens. It’s time to load a new pic on Facebook or the recent sermon onto YouTube and that’s when I am forced to see what you see. Well, not exactly. I’m just like everyone else… While most folks project their perceptions, feelings and concerns onto these images, I just notice how fat I look.  Seriously. A lot of people find it hard to look at themselves on film, why should it be different for me?

It’s not that I don’t notice the make-up, sequins and overall fabulousness. I do. But I’m kinda beyond that. I would not be doing this work if it did not come to me naturally on some level. Or every level. I just grab what’s in my closet that catches my eye, put on my war paint and shake my groove thing for the Big Guy as if it were nothing more than routine.

So when do I see myself?

Many spiritual philosophies (too man spiritual philosophies) claim that we see ourselves mirrored back in others.  I disagree. While this is certainly the case sometimes, I think a blanket generalization prescribes to the “perception is everything” notion that I find insulting to Truth. Judging from the feedback I’ve received over the past decade I’m everything from too fat to too thin, too shocking to disappointingly sweet, scary, goofy, a prophet, a demon, the Real Deal, a huckster… You get the picture.

These are all just snapshots of a maybe-me as seen through the eyes of individuals in various places/spaces in their lives at a given moment. While it is informative to learn how others perceive me, it adds little or no clarity to my actual identity. Let alone, my identity in Christ.

A few weeks ago I was driving to meet a friend for breakfast. My car stalled in the middle of an intersection, I nearly caused an accident, I was distraught, convinced that the world had imploded. My friend took over, drove the car a bit to see what was going on and then contacted a mechanic for me and set up repairs. While he was driving the car around a parking lot at its now-max-speed of 5mph, I turn to the sky and said, “Do you see this?” referring to the mess I was in.

As clear as day, God responded, “Funny. I just see someone helping you.”

That’s the answer, isn’t it. I can’t see clearly now but He can an it is in His eyes that we see the true picture.

Most people don’t believe God talks to them. That’s a shame cuz He’s real smart.  And God never lies. If we do not take advantage of the provision of Christ and receive salvation unto right relationship with God, we cannot receive the provision of Christ to receive His Holy Spirit which releases the voice of God into our lives. And without the voice of God in our lives we hare condemned to learn who we are and where we stand-and where we are headed though our friends, families, fans and critics.

As romantic a notion as one can concoct from that, it simply falls short and isn’t falling short the exact Biblical definition of sin? If I only learn who I am from the people around me-no matter how much I am loved-I bypass the provisions set forth by God for the sole purpose of me finding my identity in Him.

Sin indeed.

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