when God is scary close.
I love to see people’s Christmas morning pictures on social media.
They remind me of our humanity.
If you have kids, unless you’re committed to showering really early in the morning, chances are the photos that you share include you in an old grungy t-shirt, flannel pants, and an accidental-Flock-of-Seagulls-hair situation.
Perhaps that’s just me, but I can’t believe I’m alone.
The very strange thing about social media is that now we have people who are involved – virtually and from a distance but still involved – in some of the more private moments of our lives.
My wife avoids being in the pictures for that very reason. There are some things that she doesn’t want the world to see.
I think she’s beautiful in her t-shirt and flannel pants, but that’s not the point.
So much of the richness and beauty of life comes when we find healthy and holy people and give them access to the bad-hair pictures.
When we allow someone “in” as we say, and they respond with grace and generosity rather than saying, “Dear heavens what happened to your hair?”
The irony is that these are the people we want to tell us when we look ridiculous.
There is something dangerous and glorious about intimacy. People who are close. As the title of Donald Miller’s book calls them, they are “scary close.”
Reading this morning from Psalm 139:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. (Ps. 139:1)
The entire Psalm is a song of intimacy, walking thin lines between comfort in being known and the inescapability of a scary close God.
Every kind of hair day.
We are known, we are searched, we are knitted together and numbered and loved by the indescribable attentiveness of God.
The presence of God is one of intimacy, and one of our greatest frustrations in our human life is to never give an opening to that intimacy. We hold it at a distance, created boundaries with God, keeping sacred our saltiness and sanctimonious moves in the belief that what we don’t see can’t be dealt with.
That is a fully correct belief, by the way.
There is a gift to that incisive, razor-like intimacy of God. It allows us to see as He sees, to see the real and honest motivations of our hearts. To see why we hide the bad hair pictures and just how deep the rabbit hole of pride and/or self-hatred really goes.
It allows us to wrestle with the fact that if God knows us in a way that understands days we haven’t even lived yet, then why would I hide? Why wouldn’t I run screaming and weeping into the silence and say,
Show me my own self! Show me that thing which is breaking me down, bit by bit!
I want to see it but I don’t want to see it!
More than that, we can understand that intimacy with God is not a solo voyage. We go together, we search our hearts together with Him, and sometimes we search those places with intimate friends.
Perhaps we need today to find a quiet spot, open the notes function on our phones or take a piece of paper, and simply ask God, “What do you see in me that I’m completely missing?” Then, the real fun begins.
Wear your flannel pants.