The trouble is
We don’t know who we are instead.
–Jars of Clay.

I guess the truth is that the truth is ugly. The truth is bared and laid down arms. The truth looks less like majesty and more like frailty. And I’ve been afraid to face it. I know that and that’s why I pretend that I’m okay when you ask; because to say that I’m not okay, or preoccupied with my humanity, is to say that I’m weakness underneath the strength I show.

The truth is ugly and I am along with it.

I’m learning about faith. Faith is the sort of thing that lands us on a summit-like experience one moment and the next plummets us to what Anne Shirley famously called the depths of despair. Faith is the sort of thing that restlessly hounds us to give up self and glorifies itself, if only for the brief moments of elation that result from an answered prayer. We forget answered prayers so quickly because there are always new ones to be prayed.

Faith is not the point—testimony is. I am learning that the truth is that I walk according to faith and sometimes that gets ugly, because I am human and because I only see through a dim glass and a somewhat patched veil. I fog up the glass and patch the veil because to see Christ face to face is to see me face to face—I was created in the Imago Dei Christo—I am infused with Christ. And yet the thing that trips me up, falters my step, blinds my eyes and keeps my nimble fingers sewing the veil that was once torn in two, is that I am unwilling to see my image the way Christ does. I am unwilling to see faith worked in my life according to His promises.

The truth is that the truth is ugly when it is just me you see. But the bigger truth is that He wants it to be Him you see when you look at me.

And that, somehow, makes it beautiful instead.

August 2006