I’ve long realised that a degree of detective work is needed in the supermarkets. Often, at first sight, the contents of the packages and cans may not always live up to the expectations of the outside labels. For example “Pure natural blossom honey?” What does that mean? ‘Honey’ yes, but doesn’t all honey come from blossom and is there such a thing as ‘unnatural’ honey? That leaves ‘pure’, which I take it to be a euphemism for ‘honey blended from various sources and heat treated.’ What is ‘farm fresh corn-fed chicken’ supposed to mean? Are they reared in batteries, deep litter, free range and are they organically reared? So what you see isn’t always what you expect.
All very mundane. But are we real and open to people and God , WYSIWYG like a peeled banana? Do they see us as we really are?
This was brought home to me the other day, when during a good-humoured exchange with a friend, he said “You are a top bloke, but when I first knew you years ago, you were a bit stuck up!” He had a point. I used to be very closed and not in touch with my feelings that much. I’ve changed since, a process that is ongoing.
I remember in my second year as a shy boy in high school, a teacher wrote in my annual report, “I wish he would come out of his shell.” Sounds a bit like a tortoise or a snail! I did emerge as I grew up, but there were certain sides of me that were unconsciously kept well hidden , perhaps because of shame or false guilt. By adulthood I already had coping mechanism in place to deal with this deficiency.
The problem is, being closed separates. It can be a barrier to open communication and conversation stays mainly from the head and not the heart. Of course, if we are closed to people we will also be hiding those areas from God. The solution is to invite Jesus into those hidden hurting areas of our life and find freedom to be ourselves, which as I discovered is an ongoing process.
“- by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:20 New International Version