Look in the mirror

At a speaking engagement the woman who greeted me cocked her head. “You have light hair in the picture,” she said.

Yep, that’s true. I got tired of paying for highlights. What is left is brunette me.

“You have short hair in the picture,” she said.

Yep, that’s true too. When I stopped paying for highlights I didn’t need to come in every few weeks. So the new long “do” is the result.

Before she could say, “You were thinner in the picture you sent,” (because that’s true too) I resolved that it was time to take new pictures.

The photographer arrived and we took some fun shots. As she left I asked her a favor.

“Don’t use filters,” I said.

It’s a favor I’ve asked every time I’ve had photos taken because the reality is that we change over time. I didn’t want to hide those changes. Other photographers had listened to my request, but still felt compelled to edit a bit here and there. This beautiful photographer listened and when she sent the proofs, I almost changed my mind.

I think I like filters. I do, I do. 

But over a couple of days I settled into the photos and started to love them. I traced my finger across the wrinkle above my lip.

It’s just like my mom’s.

I smiled at the  wrinkles laugh lines between and around my eyes because I had earned those. My five little monkeys make this Gaga laugh a lot.


I want to live an unfiltered life.

Not just in my photos, but in my faith. With my family. With you.

One of my favorite ministers is Rudy Rasmus. He’s sharing Jesus in an inner city ministry and he’s the real deal. In his book, Touch, He says:

God had given me a gift of discernment, so I can usually spot a fake a mile away. I hate it when I look in the mirror and find one. 

What a powerful statement.

When I think about where we are today as believers — with ISIS, and persecution, and people all mixed up about what it means to follow Jesus . . .

I don’t think we have the luxury of being filtered in our faith.

I believe we must be bold and brave, with words wrapped in absolute love.

I think we have to have integrity that can withstand any test.

I believe we must be honest with ourselves about why we do what we do. . .  and oh, this is a hard one.

Am I in ministry because I love Christ and He changed me, or have is it become somehow about me?

Am I willing to be in the trenches with zero spotlight if it lifts up someone else on the front line?

Am I prepared to take the harder paths in my faith just because that’s where Christ is leading?

An unfiltered faith is going to show our flaws.

We might fail as we take a bigger leap than we want to, or we might struggle when it’s not going the way we think it should.

But unfiltered faith has the potential to reveal the power of faith in ordinary people. 

So this is my prayer today. If it’s yours, I’d love for you to join me.

Lord, today, strip away the filters. Let me see my heart and thoughts and motivations through Your mirror. If I look in the mirror and there is something you do not want in that reflection, shine the Holy Spirit on my heart and I’ll respond. In your name, Jesus. Amen.