I’m sitting here in my pajamas, with sweatpants on with holes in the bottom. My shirt is way too big. My hair looks like I may have been electrocuted in the middle of the night. My breath stinks because I haven’t brushed my teeth yet. This is me. On a Saturday morning. In all my glory. I love home. Home may be where the heart is, but it’s also where we can look and feel our ugliest, and truly embrace it.
Life is funny that way. I may not look really good right now, nor feel that great about myself if I peeked in a mirror, but I would tell you this is when I am most comfortable with myself. Whereas if I am out with friends, dressed nice, left the house feeling pretty good about how I looked when I took a final peek in the mirror, I’d tell you this is when I am most uncomfortable with myself.
Sometimes it’s when we strip down to nothing and see every flaw, every scar, every hole in the sweatpants, we see the unique and beautiful creation God intended us to be. An original masterpiece. We may not always like it, but at least it’s real.
Unless you peer into our living room windows every evening and see us for all our glory inside the privacy of our homes, we all tend to walk out of those doors looking prim and proper, showing the world just how beautiful we can be, with the right shoes, the right new outfit, the right make-up, the right car. All of these are not bad things, but none of these help a bottom line that I think is so important in this life.
Our brokenness was never meant to be hidden.
This is a metaphor. I’m not necessarily talking about material things here. Although that can be another story for another day. I’m talking about the masks we put on our faces every time we show ourselves to others. The one that hides the fact that you’ve been struggling with your faith for years now and instead of talking to someone about it you go on pretending to love God. The one that hides the fact that you’ve struggled with pornography so much so that it’s tearing apart your marriage. The one that hides the fact that your occasional drug use is becoming the addiction you never thought it would. The one that hides the fact your depression and anxiety is pushing you to do and think unimaginable harm to yourself. The one that hides the fact that instead of being open and honest about how much you’re hurting after losing someone you love or seeing someone you love suffer through illness, you pretend you’re so okay with it that no one even sees how much it’s killing you.
Why are we so afraid to show each other the pair of holed sweatpants we all own? Why do we insist on presenting ourselves to others so perfectly that there’s no room for error?
I think it’s a direct correlation in our relationships with God. This is how we try and present ourselves to Him. Everyday. Unless we’re prim and proper and good and well, we can’t approach God. Otherwise, He won’t love us. We won’t be good enough. So we take this with us in our relationships with others. And what happens? We falter. We grow weary. We find ourselves sitting in our living rooms stripped to nothing, scars and all, curled up on the couch hiding, hoping no one knocks on the door to come in. Because this is who we are and we’re not going to let anyone else see us.
The problem with that is God sees us. And it’s exactly how He wants to see us.
And we don’t have to be afraid of this fact.
Because our brokenness was never meant to be hidden. Especially from God.
God has been waiting for you to let him into your living room so He can meet you in your brokenness. Because He’s the only One that can restore it. He knows every scar, every pain, every hurt, every hole you have in your clothes; the ones from your past, the ones in your present and the ones you don’t yet have. He loves you in your living room because He created you that way. That’s the beauty of artwork. People have opinions. Some may like it more than others. But to the artist it doesn’t matter. It’s his. And when something is your own creation, you love it.
But now, Oh Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
God is saddened when we continue to try and present ourselves holier than thou to Him. When we give Him a list of why we think we’re good enough to earn our salvation. When we do this, we are giving no value to Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the Cross. What God wants is us. To come as we are. Beautiful and broken in His eyes. He wants us to show Him our scars, just as Jesus showed His. Because God wants to use us.
“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.” – Vance Havner
The secret comfort I feel when I sit here in my holed sweatpants and baggy t-shirt and bad breath? It’s because this is who I am. I have a mole on my arm I’ve always hated. I have scars on my stomach from a surgery I wish I never had. I have migraine headaches that cause me to want to rip my head off and find a new one. I have emotional baggage that has caused me to be pessimistic and joyless too many times. Did I mention I have sweatpants on with holes in them? The list goes on. And I can take this list and I can present it to God, because when we come to Him vulnerable and scarred, what we get is true transformation. What we get is a new self. He restores our souls. We give God full permission to use us in ways we never thought possible. But unless we allow ourselves to strip down to nothing, in all our glory, and realize presenting ourselves as perfect before God is actually robbing us of a perfect relationship with God, we’ll never experience God the way we were intended to. In all of HIS Glory.
So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. (Jeremiah 18:3)
Open the door. Let God in. And put the fancy dress away. There’s no use for that near a potter’s wheel anyway. Your sweatpants will do just fine.