RSS

Guest Post: Seeing Me for Who I Really Am

12 Mar

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.

 
18 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Grace

 

Tags: , , , , ,

18 responses to “Guest Post: Seeing Me for Who I Really Am

  1. Tim

    March 12, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Congratulations on hitting the one year mark, Aubry! (Happy Birthday M.O.!) And thank you so much for letting me part of your great ministry here at My Offerings. Your blog is an encouragement to me with every article you write.

    Tim

     
  2. Coach D

    March 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Aubry, I have so loved reading your blogs. I did share your blog on Lent with quite a few folks who did not come from a liturgical background, as does your story sound. Thank you, Tim, for sharing some of your story, too. I think you both might enjoy my husband’s blog, especially you Tim as there are some parallels to your journey. I encourage both of you to check it out. wordsfromcoachd.wordpress.com

     
    • Tim

      March 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks for the link, Heidi. I left a comment over there but it has not yet appeared.

      Tim

       
      • Coach D

        March 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        Tim,
        Thanks for reading my blog. I did get the note that you wrote a comment, but I cannot find it yet. If I do, I will reply there!

         
      • Coach D

        March 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        Tim…still don’t see it anywhere. If you wish, try reposting your comment!

         
  3. Coach D

    March 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    opps. Forgot to share my name. . . .heidi

     
  4. Michelle Van Loon

    March 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    What a beautiful meditation! Thanks, Aubrey for posting it, and thanks, Tim, for penning these words.

     
  5. Tim

    March 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks Michelle. the idea that God knows us and yet loves us really is a beautiful thought, isn’t it!

     
  6. Karen Swallow Prior (@LoveLifeLitGod)

    March 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Great thoughts as usual, Tim. The flip side of this idea of God knowing us so well is that it is only in Him that we can truly know ourselves and then truly BE ourselves. That’s the heart of the whole “self-esteem” problem. The truth you write about here is the solution. Thanks!

     
    • Tim

      March 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Absolutely. Karen. In God we actually become what we were meant to be in the first place. That’s another great thing about him seeing us as we really are.

      Tim

       
  7. kingdomcivics

    March 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Tim, I have often had the thought, “Wouldn’t it be horrible if everyone could see what I’m thinking right now?” It is both terrifying and comforting to know how much God knows about me, that He, in fact, knows more than I do! I am so thankful that He loves me anyway! Good thoughts, Tim!

     
    • Tim

      March 13, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Thanks Kim! Your comment reminds me of what C.S. Lewis says about what we’d do if we saw people as they will appear in eternity: either we’d be tempted to bow in worship of such glorified beings (like John with the angel in Revelation) or we’d cower in abject fear of the horror that results when someone is completely given over to their rebellion against God. I am really glad God has made me a new creation in the image of his Son!

      Tim

       
  8. Ellen Painter Dollar

    March 14, 2012 at 7:59 am

    The scripture about David raises several interesting thoughts for me. David accepts God’s promises as true, despite all of the ways that he (David) has messed up. He acknowledges God’s choosing him to be a great leader even though he (David) might wonder if God knows what he’s doing, making a crazy, screwed-up dude like him into a leader. I think there’s a lesson here for us when we are feeling overwhelmed/uncertain/scared by some work we’ve been given to do. It’s tempting to think, “I’m just not cut out for this” and throw in the towel. But if we trust that God knows us and chose this work for us, then we can rest in knowing that God knows what he is doing, that actually, we ARE cut out for this, literally. That thought is both comforting and challenging, because it means we can’t just give up, even when it’s hard. During some dark times in my writing career last fall, I told my editor/friend that I was questioning whether I had read the signs correctly that God was calling me to write. She reminded me of the other great work to which God has called me — motherhood — and said, “You’ve had plenty of hard times as a mom, but you’ve never thought of giving up that work. It’s the same with your writing.” Trusting God’s knowledge of and call to us means slogging through the hard bits, trusting that God does not call us to work without knowing us intimately, and therefore knowing that we can do it, despite inevitable failure and frustration.

     
    • Tim

      March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      “But if we trust that God knows us and chose this work for us, then we can rest in knowing that God knows what he is doing, that actually, we ARE cut out for this, literally.”

      Exactly! And the way you put it is kind of a confluence of Ephesians 2:10 (“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”) and romans 14:4 (“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”)

      I am so glad you came over to visit here, Ellen.

      Tim

       
  9. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    March 14, 2012 at 11:49 am

    because He knows us so completely it is good that we should listen to Him and what He has in store for our lives. Goodness I often have thought about David and how he was a man after God’s own heart, but recently I have seen just why. . .He admitted his faults and repented and would change afterwards. He’d work on his commitment to the Lord and was unashamed of worshiping and glorifying Him. I want to be that way. It really is wonderful just to know that someone knows us. . and we should want to let people see what God sees.

    Oh, and indeed you’re right about what happens to models. Even the thinnest of models get loads of body shaping in photoshop. It is really odd. That is kinda funny that the one kid stole that sign and actually had a picture posted. Not very smart at all. haha.

    Very wonderful post.

     
    • Tim

      March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      “It really is wonderful just to know that someone knows us.” That is such a beautiful way to express it, Victoria. And to think that God not only knows us but he knows us better than we know ourselves. Amazing.

      Tim

      P.S. About the kid and the stolen sign: I felt a type of professional interest in the story, you know. Then again, when I got on the bench I was told I didn’t look old enough to be a judge either!

       
  10. Jeff

    March 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for the encouraging post Tim!

     
    • Tim

      March 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      I’m glad you came by, Jeff.

      Tim

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers

%d bloggers like this: