Yesterday, a word stuck out at me: transparent. I was reading unChristian by David McKinnon and Gabe Lyons.
That word has followed me throughout this year — each time I meet up with it, pounding at my heart’s doors to get me to submit to it’s meaning.
Transparency; to be seen right through your skin. That’s how I see it.
Letting your guard down. Flinging your arms out and not caring what other people see. Allowing others into your lives and letting them see your heart. Not hiding anything, not staying back. So easy to describe, yet so very hard to actually do.
I often live in a world of masks and make-up. I like to hide behind a thousand layers and pretend that is me. I forge relationships and I try to hide when people walk by, hoping they won’t see my soul, yet praying that they will.
It is strange, the way this works — this transparency business. I hate to let go yet I love the feeling when I finally do. I loathe to be transparent, but I’m so unsatisfied in this daily grind of pretending, lying, and losing.
I remember a conversation I had with a professor back in February. We were talking about acting; I wasn’t sure why it had suddenly become so hard, dissatisfying, and just not enjoyable.
She pointed out that maybe getting on stage and baring my soul, standing naked, was what I didn’t like. Because acting isn’t pretending to be someone else or hiding behind a character. In theatre, we must use our self, from the very depths of our soul, without holding anything back.
I think she was right. I didn’t want to do that. Or I was scared to. And that was keeping me from what I loved.
But I don’t want to be kept back any longer. I want to let go, to be free, to be transparent.
I did it a few times. For audiences even. For my professors on the night I decided that I wanted theatre and there was nothing else and that I was going to give everything I had to get what I loved. And though transparency was harder than anything, it felt better than every pretense I’ve tried.
Transparency is Biblical, too, I think. In that book I was talking about — unChristian — the authors talk about being transparent in our Christian lives. All too often, as Christians, we hide our sins with good works and pray that even God won’t see our short-comings. It’s a crazy double standard yet we do it. It’s hypocrisy and it doesn’t help anyone, including our selves. And Jesus wants our hearts. He wants our whole hearts — not just half or a quarter. I think, after all, that Jesus calls for transparency, too.
So let us be transparent. And let us start today.