From the Pastor’s Pen: Hiding Who You Are

A couple weeks ago, I dug out a box that hasn’t been opened in several moves, maybe not since Karoline and I have been married. What prompted me to dig it out was Noah’s recent interest in Scouting. The box is labeled, “Brandon’s Scout Stuff.”

Part of me, I suppose, was looking for a way to connect to the kid, who is teenaging more quickly than makes me comfortable.

I mean, I remember what I was like as a teen.

There was also a part of me wondering if my BSA stuff might be of any use to him, or if it might fit him.

I pulled the old pants out of the box, and was surprised how large they looked. I couldn’t find a size listed anywhere. I wasn’t really interested in trying them on.

I pulled the shirt out and discovered that it was a tent.

I forgot that, even in high school, I was hiding under baggy clothes. I thought I started that in college. I still have some XL tees that haven’t gotten so worn out that I have to dispose of them.

I came across an image this morning that made me think of that old Scout uniform in a slightly different way.

Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber are two of my favorite authors and preachers. They exude confidence and inspiration, but they present and express themselves very differently.

And that’s how it should be.

God has brought them to where they are from very different directions, and the way they present themselves is a reflection of their journey.

Even in the tight circle of United Methodist clergy, we express ourselves in a pretty wide variety; from clerical collars to bowties, jeans to sundresses, crisp grammar and polos to fragmented phrases and sport coats.

We are who we are, and we got here on a long and often winding road. I’m often tempted to discount someone because of their particular presentation of themselves, and I recognize mostly too late the snobbery that inspires my judgment.

Silly Brandon, you’re just a little clay pot with some God Breath puffed in.

I’d like to not hide behind snobbery any more. I’d like to not hide behind XL when I’m really just an S. I’d like to not hide at all.

I am, after all, exactly what God made me to be.

And I’m working on becoming the best version of that, with God’s help.

I hope you’re working on that, too, because you are exactly what God intends you to be. Be that. Be you. Be the beautiful image of your Creator.

There’s nothing you can do better than to be just that.


p.s. Pray for Rachel Held Evans, who was hospitalized April 19th for constant seizures and is currently in a medically-induced coma. Her husband, Dan, is providing updates on her blog.

Featured Image on this post by rihaij from Pixabay