I knew I had a great photographer. Her pictures flattered her subjects, exposing their unique beauty. She’s that good. That’s why I had gone to her to take head shots for my webpage. She could capture the image I was going for: professional yet warm and engaging.
Other people thought the pictures were good representations of me. I was the only one who thought they seemed a little… off.
Like the time I took the visual fields test at the ophthamologist’s office and kept waiting to see the bright light so I could click the buzzer. This machine must be broken, I thought. It’s too long between flashes. But the machine was just fine, thank you. It was my eyes that were broken, something I suspected all along.
And then it hit me. What if that really is what I look like? Yikes! Somehow, in my mind, I pictured myself a little differently. A little brighter, a little livelier, a little more lovely. Yet there was no denying it. That was me, all right.
I felt somewhat better when my daughter said my picture looked like me when I was posing, but not what I actually look like “in real life.”
I think the same thing when I read about myself in scripture. “The heart is deceitful above all things…” (Jeremiah 17:9) It’s like holding up a mirror in front of my face or seeing a picture of myself. Is that really who I am? Yikes! Yes, that’s who I am and what my heart looks like when I am posing, not experiencing real life. I don’t like what I see. It seems a little…off.
How can I experience “real life?” I read on. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! …God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17; 21)
There it is. There’s the “real life” I’m looking for, the “real life” I’m longing to see in the mirror. And it’s mine because of what Jesus has done for me. He has taken the dull and lifeless and made it beautiful, trading my posing for his perfection, just because he says so. He’s that good. Now when I read his words I see myself as I really am, in real life, his life…his beloved, beautiful in his sight…and I like what I see. A Savior who loves me.
And he loves you, and sees you as beautiful. That’s real life. And in case you ever wondered… that’s what you really look like.