I'm super nearsighted. When I was about ten years old an optometrist told my mom that I needed glasses, and then I cried dramatically as I absorbed the news. I already felt uncool, and now I'd officially be just that - the dreaded four-eyed book nerd cliche. What softened the blow was how amazing it was to finally see clearly with those glasses on, a fuzzy world now sharp and alive. I'll never forget how stunning everything was when I could first see everything properly.
A funny thing about my near-sighted eyes today at 42 years old is that I can see really well up close without glasses or contacts. Like, I can see detail that's right in front of my nose better than those with 20-20 vision. (I don't mean to brag, but it's true.) If I need to pluck my eyebrows and want to catch every little scary hair, I'm going to do a better job without contacts in. My kids' freckles are just ridiculously good up close. My wrinkles are also ridiculous, but not necessarily good. These near-sighted eyes are dynamite at extremely close range. It's a blessing and a curse.
I like the idea of something being better up close than from a distance. I want my life to look better the closer you get to it. Mark Batterson wrote that he wants to be famous in his own home. Yes, that. Me too. It's how I was raised and I'm grateful. My parents are strong leaders, but they are even better people. I hope that the ones who know me best have the most good to say. We all have a public life and a private one, and today's social media culture gives everyone a public platform - but what's behind the blog or the preach or the post, once the fuzzy filter is off, can be so cringey. Sometimes it's heartbreaking. Of course we should be who we say we are and do what we say we do and live like we teach. Of course we should. It bothers me when I see fake in others, and it bugs me most in myself. That dissonance and disappointment keeps me quiet, to be truthful... I really don't want to preach or post about the good life if I'm not living it. But safe isn't the goal - transparency is. Real is beautiful. Raw is powerful. The freckles and the wrinkles and the honest. No filter. I hope we'll keep doing the heart-work, the soul-searching, the repenting and growing and grace-giving that we must do to be people whose lives tell a good story, imperfect as we are. I hope we'll make it our mission to be better up close, off the platform, than we are in our smooth Sunday best.