Women are a funny creation, I’d love to have a one on one conversation with the Creator of the World about how women work. I want to know how much of our way of thinking, behavior, etc is just “how we are wired” and how much is a result of the fall. How emotional did God really want for us to be? How complicated were we intended to be? When woman first bit that piece of fruit, why is it that her mind became a pile of yarn balls all unraveled and going in so many directions at once? Why did men get the capacity to compartmentalize things and function so differently with thought and deed? We both ate of the tree of knowledge, yet our brains work so entirely differently. Why?
It is a mystery.
Interestingly enough, what also happened after woman bit that apple… she saw herself. She felt shame and guilt. And, she hid from God. Until that moment, the Lord had blinders on her eyes. She saw Him, she saw Adam, she knew her God given task and purpose. When she bit of the apple, those blinders fell off. “What if” entered the world. “What if God didn’t say ….”. “What if I take a bite…”. “What if I didn’t hear God correctly…”.
Throughout the scriptures there are cries out to God to be seen. See me, search me, do not cast your face from me, see your people, hear your people, help your people…
Eve hid from God. Eve said… do not see me. Do not find me. Do not cast your gaze upon me. Do not search me. She didn’t want to be found in her shame and her guilt.
Avert your eyes.
But the Lord looked for them, he sought them out in their shame, held them accountable, and then as He always does… he made a way out.
I’ve known so many women who want to be seen. They want their spouses to see them, instead of take them for granted. They want their children to see them, and consider them worthy of praise. They want their parent to see them and apologize for past hurts. They want their boss to see them and recognize their efforts. They want their church to see them and welcome their gifts. They want world to see them and say you add value and are worthy to know.
And yet, some of these same women will hide from those who see too much. When a spouse gets too close, and they feel vulnerable… they push him away. When the children begin to see through her perfect mom facade, she builds up taller walls and come up with new covers to her sin. A parent who desires to fix the past will be kept at arms reach because of fear, we do not want to be hurt again. Women don’t want their bosses to know how much they sacrificed for the job, because they fear it shows weakness vs. strength. A woman who wants the church to see her gift but hides the journey to faith that brought her there. Women who want the world to see them, but only the parts they want to be seen.
Women are complicated creations. By our design or as a result of our choices, we seem to have the ability to complicate our lives even more than they need to be. We say we want authenticity in our friendships, but we do not want vulnerability. We say that we want iron sharpens iron friendships, yet we do not understand that for iron to be strengthened it’s weaknesses must be exposed. We would rather our friends look up at us as a model of inspiration versus walk with us through our valleys. We put on a show, get a circle of friends, build relationships… always keeping our arms stretched out so that no one can get too close.
From a distance our cracks and fractures are not as noticeable. From a distance we can put on a show and no one can see us reading from the cue cards. From a distance our grand actions are easily seen but our slight of hand goes unnoticed. From a distance we look holy and righteous, masking our sin and deprivation. From a distance we appear to have it all together, all of the right answers, the perfect family… no one can see the brokenness behind our closed doors.
Social media has made the perfect playground for superficial relationships, because we can connect with hundreds and thousands of people… posting our perfectly thought out words, edited photographs, and stories spun to make our lives look like a highlight reel of perfection. When those people began to infiltrate our real lives, and see how we really live… that facade can only last so long. When they get too close and begin to the see the truth, we cut them out and replace them with someone new. Cycling our “friends” in and out of our lives to protect the image we have created for ourselves.
We tackle authenticity from a place of mentor to mentee versus a mutual relationship of accountability. We want others to be authentic with us, so that we can use our gifts, talents, knowledge, wisdom, et’al to help them. Yet we dare not expose the thorns in our sides, the planks in our eyes, and our sin to those whom we consider our closest friends. When they come across them and call our attention to it, we are quick to dismiss it. Quick to blame, and quick to create distance. We speak truth in love, but I question how much love is really there. We speak personal conviction as biblical mandate, standing on a soap box of righteousness that is filled with worms. We are quick to label others sins and quantify them as more terrible than our own, so that when the time comes we can stop the friendship and feel no remorse.
Righteous indignation is easier than self retrospection.
So, we hide. We hide from God under the guise that our sin is not as bad as others. We tell ourselves that God is angrier about greater sins in the world, than this little thing I have done. We hide from those who love us, because we fear that if they see us for who we really are they will leave… judge… or hold us accountable to change. We hide from ourselves by focusing so much on how others have wronged or hurt us, that we can put our own sin on the back burner.
We want others to avert their eyes to us, while we look at them under a microscope.
Lord help us to be vulnerable with one another, to walk our roads not alone but in the company of our family of believers, let us not fear accountability, and help us to stop hiding from you.