This week is a big week for this little blog. It is officially one years old! Happy birthday, blog. You could use a facelift, but we still love you.
Today is also my first guest post! I’m excited to introduce you guys to Tim Fall. Tim began reading and contributing to our discussions here a few weeks back, and has written today’s thoughtful post. Show him some love, folks. Also, if you would like to be considered for a guest post, see my Contact page above and connect with me.
Take it away, Tim:
Some people just aren’t who – or what – they are labeled. Take this young man, for instance. Others are misrepresented on purpose but for completely legal purposes, such as the way models are portrayed in advertisements on television, billboards and the internet. You do know that photographs of models, even movie stars, are airbrushed extensively before the advertisement ever gets published, right? (Of course you did. Nothing gets by you.) Even the models themselves don’t look like the models you see in magazines.
If some Arizona lawmakers have their way, this type of lawful sleight of hand would be on its way out. Representative Katie Hobbs introduced legislation that would require advertisements to carry a disclaimer alerting viewers that the picture had been manipulated. Rep. Hobbs admitted the bill had little chance of passing, but wanted to get a conversation going about body image and the harm these depictions of unobtainable beauty can cause. Either show the models as they are, or tell everyone the photo’s a fake. I wonder what that would do to the fashion model industry.
Do any of us really want to see others as they truly are? Or perhaps more to the point, do I want others to see me as I truly am? I probably … no, I definitely do not. Not only is it a bit unnerving to think someone could learn things about me that I know are terrible, it’s not so hot for the person doing the observing either. Yet there is one person who knows me, and I’ve come to learn over the years that there’s no reason to regret it.
Many of us are familiar with Psalm 139 and the assurance that God knows every fiber of our being. That passage is comforting; it’s all about babies and being formed in our mothers’ wombs. (Here’s a post I wrote on that a while back.) I recently read something about David, though, that really opened my eyes to the fact that God not only knows us well, he knows the darkest corners of our lives really well.
King David was a murder, adulterer, conniver, schemer and liar (2 Samuel 11-12). He was also a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). How could that be? Was it because God didn’t know the true David? No, not if 1 Chronicles 17 is any indication.
David lived in a palace. That was all right with him, but he felt that it was inappropriate that he did so when he had not built a grand temple for the Ark of the Covenant, the seat of the holy God of Israel, to rest in. But Nathan the prophet delivered God’s message, that he had other plans for David:
“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I … appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth. …
“‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. … I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’”
A lot of people who get news like this might wonder how it could be true, and hope that whoever made these promises wouldn’t reconsider. We think, “If they only knew what I was really like, they’d change their mind and give it to someone else.” That’s not what David thought, though. Instead, he told God:
“Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men. What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, Lord.”
And that’s what hit me like a blow to the head: For you know your servant, Lord.
Yes he did and yes he does. He knew all about David and he knows all about me. He even knows me better than I know myself. Yet he chose me and he loves me. And because I know he knows all about me, I don’t have to worry that his love for me is temporary or that it might be taken away the moment he discovers my darkest secrets. No, God chose me in spite of my sinfulness, in spite of my darkness. He really loves me.
I am so glad God knows me, his servant.
Tim is a California native who changed his major three times, colleges four times, and took six years to get a Bachelor’s degree in a subject he’s never been called on to use professionally. Married for over 24 years with two kids now in college, his family is constant evidence of God’s abundant blessings in his life. He and his wife live in Northern California.
Besides guest posts here and there, Tim blogs with the team at The Radical Journey.