“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
– Colossians 3: 12,14
What is this thing called transparence? In the most fundamental definition, the word “transparent” is defined as “allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen; having thoughts, feelings, or motives that are easily seen”, and from medieval Latin, ‘shining through’. I like that.
One thing that I continually discover on this beautiful journey of seeking out God’s heart and learning to focus on what He wants, is that every day is incredible. Some days a lot of stripping has to happen, some days I feel as if I walk around being completely exposed; there are days of triumph and “A-ha” moments, and days where impatience, frustration, and selfishness start creeping in and pride begins to surface. In spite of it all, each day is beautiful in it’s own right as long as it is viewed from the right perspective…and that is from the Loving eyes of a Sovereign God, whose deepest desire is to draw us into relationship with Himself.
Though I do wear my heart on my sleeve (you can ask my bff’s), I am learning through this process that while that passion and emotion is wonderful, I have to have a plan for every day that allows me to access the Heart of God and stay as close to Him as possible. If you are thinking that it is impossible, I promise you that it is not. It is possible to live a day filled with love, joy and peace, (Galatians 5:22) but as I have learned over time, it involves strategy and planning.
The other day, I was so blessed as my sweet five year old daughter decided that she wanted to serve me breakfast and took it upon herself to get it all started. Though tall, she doesn’t quite reach the cabinets or microwave, and she is not allowed to use knives (I’m just grateful that SHE remembered). When I heard the noises in the kitchen, I went to investigate and what I saw took my breath away as she had gotten a quiche out of the refrigerator and was using a fork to cut pieces out of the pie. After I rescued the quiche and got us settled for breakfast, I realized that this was the perfect time to troubleshoot the day. Slowly we went through every aspect of her day, the potential problems that might surface with sharing toys in her class, thinking about ways to serve and honor her teacher, talking through recess that allowed other children to participate on her favorite equipment, and simply how to handle potential conflicts and all of the tests and challenges that she might experience during her day. I wasn’t prepared for her wanting to continue the discussion on the way to school, but she did and it set the tone for one of her BEST days in class.
As I reflected upon that conversation later, I realized that God had given me a precious gift and a profound insight into my own day! Basically what my daughter and I ended our conversation with was simply this: we are to have NO expectations from anyone else, but we need to be intensely prepared to serve, share and give however needed. That one principle flipped my perspective around as I went to work troubleshooting my own day with every potential test and challenge that might produce actions, thoughts, or words that might take me far away from the heart of God.
As a dancer, every day involves repetition of basic barre exercises and a long rehearsal (pictured below), includes continuing to work on the same steps over and over again until perfection (or excellence) is attained. It takes a great deal of mental focus and stamina to pay attention to details in order to work to get it right. Approaching every day is exactly the same if we have a desire to be that compassionate, faithful, kind, humble, gentle, and patient person who loves God first and then is able to love others extravagantly. What is awe inspiring is that the more that we prepare for our days with the heart focused on gratitude, grace, thankfulness and humility, the more transparent we become, the more we are able to “shine through” and BE that living, breathing, beautiful light for God.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”- Matthew 5:14-16
May you be a beautiful transparent light of love for God Almighty today as you plan to pass every challenge and test that comes your way….
With much love,