I can feel Real.
I saw it this morning. Soggy, pouring, grace- like-rain dripping down over a crusty dried-up soul. But the Real said something different this morning, it said what if.
It said What IF. What if you fought for Real instead of against Unreal?
An invitation to bring Me your tired and your poor. Quit fighting against what you see and instead fight for the unseen.
The truth is my soul is empty and I don’t know how it can be empty and filled up with grace at the same time but it is.
I’ve long said that slick and shiny make me sick. My husband and I have a decades long aversion to slick. This morning I was over at A Holy Experience reading Ann Voskamp’s words. She said….
When everything is slick, it can be hard to hold on to Jesus.
And grace-like-rain pours out over our souls and our dried up hearts are shriveled in the inside but covered with a layer of slick and the grace slides right off and puddles at our feet because grace can’t soak into slick.
My posts during these 31 days have been about growing up. And what I really mean by growing up, if I peel back the words and look for the heart, is growing real.
Real enough to not need the masks. Real enough to let the grace fill our souls and spill out onto our friends. Our family. Our world.
Today is a day of masks, a day where children dress up and pretend.
Pretending is essential to the soul of a child but it kills the soul of an adult.
Pretend is shiny slick. The rain falls, the wind blows and even our masks will have to take cover today.
The rain outside feels like a gift for my insides.
The opportunity, given to us in a weather forecast, is to put the masks away and stay inside where the people are real. Real can be ugly and grating and uncomfortable and not at all shiny. But Real is really Life.
I woke up this morning with a list of the Unreals in my life. A list of what I hope people think about me, what I want my life to look like whether it’s reality or not, what I think I need to be OK on the inside.
The Unreal has been suffocating me for days.
Causes me to close my doors and not go out There. But today with the gift of grace, falling like rain, I can see through the drops the opportunities for Real right in front of me. They’re risky and full of opportunities for failure but failing at Real sounds so much better than succeeding at Unreal.
There’s no shiny in my life right now apart from the glistening grace that soaks into this hard, hole-filled soul and soaks it with Real.
Truth and Grace don’t excuse ugly words or choices but instead cover them. Grace calls out Truth while paving a path straight up to the back door with Love.
This morning, my daughter took one of her paintings to school to give to her friend, a present for her birthday. The Unreal inside of me, the part of my soul that questions everything, intentions, words, actions; I questioned her motives.
It’s the ugly mistrusting part of my heart that doesn’t believe Real even when I see it in the flesh standing right in front of me. Children don’t have the ulterior unreal motives of adults and I’ve been so hard the small ones here as they’re living out their best Real.
But this morning was different. This morning, the grace-like-rain soaked my dry heart just a little and it was moisture for my dry eyes. I blinked and I saw clearly her heart.
She covered her gift as she got out of the car. I’ve got to protect the gift, she said with beautiful and lilting authenticity.
On day 31 of my grown-up musings, I’m realizing that I’m pointed in the wrong direction. I’ve been facing outward vowing to rip off the masks of Unreal that have hurt my heart.
But I think I need to turn around, to face inward for a change. To protect the Real that lives right in front of me, within my walls and within my heart.
There’s Real, and He’s the Way The Truth and The Life.
His Real washes over my heart with Grace, like rain, and I can see. All of the Unreal out there can’t hurt my heart if I guard the Real as fiercely as I’ve fought the Unreal.
I’m so thankful for this 31 day project. Making a commitment to show up (almost) every day was my personal war on the perfection that sometimes paralyzes my life. It’s been a challenging month, but one that I’m proud of. And if you’ve read one or two of these posts? Thank you so very much!
This weekend, I’ll list some resources. Books, Music and Websites that have encouraged me over the last few years. I hope you’ll stop by.
You can find this entire series here.