"her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high"
I talk a big game about being a people person, and in the basic sense I am. I want to be there for people, I want to love people, I want to encourage people, I want to break them open and get knee deep in their soul. On the flip side? Please keep your distance. I don't like opening up to people. I don't plop down on the couch and tell my best friend my deepest fears, or hand over pieces of my heart in hopes that someone can help tune the ragged edges.
I have even trained myself to hold all the good back. All those little, good, and secretly sweet moments, I didn't want to disturb. It's silly. I fear people seeing the dirty, and could never dare throw fireworks up in the air for my own good day.
Silly, right? But I'm not the only one who thinks she needs to live life at a perfect level of functional, or one that perfectly fits into a tiny box. Careful not to get too close to one extreme or the other, wading across the line, just hoping not to lose our balance.
We know the deal...
It would be just terrible for anyone to know that we aren't perfect, and we put up the walls and place a big 'ole "you can look, but don't touch" sign.
It would be just too much for anyone to know your heart is bursting with something so good, and we put up the walls and hang that "all is well here" sign.
We want to fit into that tiny box. We want to wade that line. We want to be a picture perfect person who doesn't need to look past the first layer.
But we forget this...
We need to look past that first layer. We need to dig deep, deep, deep. It's not about how perfectly we fit into that box, or how put together our daily schedule is, or how perfect our red lipstick and top knots are. No, my love.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter)
Biblical faith never requires you to deny reality. If you have to establish momentary, personal hope by denying reality, you are not exercising biblical faith. The Bible is shockingly honest and gloriously hopeful; the honesty doesn't diminish the hopefulness, and the hopefulness doesn't negate the honesty - neither does ours.
So stop telling stories that make life look better than it actually is, and top holding back a bursting heart. Jesus doesn't need you to defend His reputation with your functional lives. Jesus doesn't need your walls. Jesus doesn't need your hidden souvenirs, and mangled pieces your refuse to shine a light on.
There is no need to pretend to be anyone for Christ. All He asks is for our hearts - raw, unprotected, no filter. We must tear down the walls around our hearts, take down the signs, and allow the Holy spirit to flood our lives so that we can overflow authentic love into the lives of those around us - and in order to open up our real selves, we must first be raw with our Savior.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus... (Ephesians 2:10)
Let's break down some barriers and welcome the warmth of our merciful Savior, and the gracious hearts of those desperately wanting to help with those mangled pieces.
We have to start right there, right where it all started - deep in our very soul, in the darkest parts that we've hidden our own eyes from. It's time to shine a light on those shadows, and it's time to get real with Jesus, and real with people. No more "just have a look, but not too close".
Oh no, we're digging all the way in, knee deep and muddy in messy hearts and mangled pieces.
p.s. it's scary, but it matters.