“Well here’s a fine how d'ya do!” I murmured out loud after opening the door to the dryer to find 8 little acorns perched innocently on the threshold. I guess I wasn’t really shocked. After all, I do have 4 children who are all absentminded and wear clothes with pockets. In the past I’ve pulled Legos, hair clips, and small cars out of the dryer, as well as given the term “money laundering” a new definition. I’ve also plucked out melted crayons, a sharpie, a disfigured Polly Pocket, and what was once a tube of Carmex. I am well versed in the art of laundry salvage. Still, this was an odd find, even for this family. I scooped them out and saw that no harm had been done other than the fact they were scalding hot having gone through several cycles because I refuse to remember to take the clothes out of the dryer until they’re a wrinkled mess. All clothes in this house, therefore, are intimately acquainted with the “freshen up” cycle. Anyway, I tossed them on the counter without much thought and forgot about them.
Until, about an hour later when I happened to be going through a random gift bag and I stumbled upon some fake acorns that had been used as décor for a little gift.
“Weird,” I murmured, and tossed those up on the counter with the real ones.
Later, I happened to walk by and glance at the little pile of plastic and real acorns. “I’m sure glad it wasn’t the plastic ones that had found their way into the dryer,” was the casual thought that bounced through my head. “They would have melted all over everything.” As I went about my day, thoughts of those silly acorns danced around my brain, both the real and the imitation. They were the same color, close in size, even similar in texture. But apply a little heat and the difference becomes disastrously evident.
A nagging feeling began to gnaw at me as I thought about myself and how many times I had looked authentic on the outside, but inside I was just as cold and plasticky as those fake, decorative acorns.
Oh, it's so easy to fake it until we make it. To go to church in the right clothes, with my kids relatively clean and put together...I mean, at least for our family. It’s easy to lift my hands in worship, to sing the songs, and obediently say “Amen” at the proper time. After service I can (sometimes) make the appropriate chit chat using the right verbiage and then go home and make a casserole for a sick neighbor.
Smooth and composed on the outside. Everything looks as it should, but add just a little heat and what will happen? Who we are will always be exposed.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23 NLT
Life is full of moments of scorching heat and trials. Every person on this earth is facing a battle of some kind. Who we really are becomes evident in the midst. So be real. Because being real requires humility, and it’s in our humility that God works in us. It’s in our humility that we can love and have compassion on others. It’s in our humility that we can receive grace and then give it.
In a world shaped by snapshots on social media, dominated by the opinions of internet strangers, and filled with the knowledge of Google and Snopes, I desire to be ...
Not always ….
If I’m going to be a nut, I’d at least rather be real.