Saturday. When responsible home owners hear the clarion call of their yards and flower beds. Longing to be refreshed with a trim and a cut and a prune here and there.
This is when I wish we had astroturf.
Since neither of us are true gardeners–those who love to get their hands dirty and see pretty things grow–we don’t approach the subtlety of lawn talk with fun in our hearts. We plug away till it’s finished.
With that done, I needed to get some groceries to prepare food for a gathering we were attending that evening.
I was faced with a dilemma.
I grew up with a mom who took great pride in her appearance. The expectation was that we would do the same. I learned early on that you don’t darken the doors of stores unless you’ve showered and look presentable. Make up. Hair combed. Clean clothes.
I’ve fallen into that mode of living. I’ve gotten used to getting ready before I let the rest of the world see what I really look like.
It did help that I didn’t see anyone I knew.
Why is it I care so much about how I look? Part of that is upbringing. I learned that a pleasing appearance is a positive thing–people treat you better if you look good than if you look grubby.
But I’ve taken it a step further.
Too often I act like what I look like on the outside defines me. That appearance determines acceptability. That if I look good–in what I do as far as my job and my relationships–no one will ever know that there’s dirt there.
Can you imagine how much simpler our days would be if there was an astroturf for life? Where I could put on a pre-groomed, indestructible outer shell that always looked nice. No matter what the weather–or my circumstances. All others would see would be clean green.
I can do that without the personal astroturf. Acting like life is fine when I’m really hurting. Pretending I’m doing well when I feel like a hot mess.
But my astroturf is in place.
My heart isn’t so easily hidden. God sees it. Knows it. Isn’t surprised by what’s in it.
He longs for me to be real with Him. To take my dark, messy self to Him. Expose those things I’m so prone to hide.
Be real before the One who knows the real me.
If I can be vulnerable with Jesus, He gives me the ability to be a safe place for others. I can offer genuine love and acceptance, no matter what someone else is trying to hide.
A willingness to open my heart to others. Welcome them into an honest relationship.
Leave all astroturf at the door.