Who am I posing for?
The lightning is blue across a dark metallic sky, coming fast amidst the pelting rain and thunder clapps, rolling and rumbling, a concert of accolades celebrating the hot August night. I drive through it like I am an extra in a scene. My mind goes way back to a time when “Bluedot” flashcubes were atop Kodak Instamatic cameras (dating myself now). I feel like I am being photographed all the way home. Just the imagination makes me aware of my demeanor, my thoughts, my poise, even though it is late and I am alone. The streetlights emit molten gold as I pass by.
Pictures take us places we will never go and show us people we will never meet.
I wonder if that is one factor in social media’s addictive lure. This summer I find myself stopping at the ocean pictures and podcasts more than usual. It has been over a year since I’ve been to one and I don’t see it happening any time soon. It is not the ocean alone I miss, but the people associated with it.
Pictures provide a presence, not quite near enough, but momentarily effective to satisfy a longing desire.
The need to be photographed as well as the need to see photographs are closely integrated. Lonliness lies beyond even the soul. As a Christian, Christ indwells and has redeemed and satisfied my soul. So why is it that some Christians are among the lonliest people? If my soul is complete, should I not all be complete?
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps 42:1–5 NIV)
Aha! Hope! It transcends even the soul.
Without hope even a redeemed soul is a prison cell.
Without hope, fear will surround all of your potential and creativity and suffocate the life you live on this earth.
Without hope, your destiny is full, but your testimony is empty.
Without hope, you always have words inside, but do not risk letting them out.
So, how do we transcend from despair and discouragement to hope. It doesn’t say how. It just tells me to do it. The Psalmist says to hope in God. I think it is a change of mind. I am thinking one way; it is a definite act of will and intention to change my thinking. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense to my friends, my family or even myself. The promise is:
“…Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps 42:11 NIV)
I am not alone, ever! I am being watched by many unseen entities.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” (Heb 12:1 NIV)
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware. (Heb 13:2 NIV)
“Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, you’d find me in a minute-you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact; darkness isn’t dark to you, night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.” (Ps 139:7–10 The Msg)
“We’re not waging war against enemies of fleshand blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places.”(Eph 6:12 The Voice)
I am surrounded on all sides, every moment of every day, in light and in dark. What do they see when they look at me? Is my picture being taken? Am I posing well? Am I content? Am I being faithful? Am I seeking what is the next step I am to take? Am I taking the next step He has instructed? Am I standing still? I repeat, am I content?
I am on camera. In front of the lights. I am the main character, not the extra. I am seen. What will I do?