The Public Persona
It is interesting how we draw a picture about someone in our minds and thinking through just a public persona. We see these people on a stage or screen, read about them in the papers and magazines, and then we think we really know them. It is only then when we find out something factual about these lives that we get an awakening to who these people really are. This seems to be particularly true in recent times about comedians and pop stars. How many hilarious kings and queens of comedy have struggled battles with depression and their own inner demons? How many singers are really reclusive’s struggling with how to handle the spotlight, turning them to drugs and alcohol addiction? The same can be true of the image we draw in our minds about those Christian’s who find themselves in the spotlight. I know it is true of myself. In fact this week I have begun pondering which of these images is the real me, or is it both, or is it neither?
Master of Mischief.
Those who are regular readers of the blog or my Facebook page will draw an image of what they think I am like. Those who resonate with the things that I write will see me as a revolutionary voice in the darkness, standing up for those in the margins, cheering me on at every opportunity and finding encouragement in my words. Then there are those who are none too pleased. Those whose feathers I ruffle. Those who get all upperty and offended. Those who draw this image of me being a troubler and a stirrer and an unstable, forceful, bold, brash spokesperson for the hurt and bitter people that have left the church system. These people think I need some sort of inner healing and they think I need to walk in forgiveness and get myself sorted. They then throw stuff at me as if I am made of steel and can take any and everything. Just because I appear to be a master of mischief they think I am thick skinned and never hurt by stuff. And I suppose just by saying the stuff I open myself up to being targeted and labelled with all sorts. I must walk around with a target on my back and my front. On a page and behind a pulpit it is easy to be bold. In person you may be disappointed with what you find. I can sometimes be disappointed with what I find.
Chick Chick Chick Chick Chicken.
One to one I can be very intimidated, shy, lacking confidence. I can find myself agreeing just to be at peace because I hate confrontation. I can ponder over a criticism for hours as it digs deep into my psyche and makes me feel like curling up and never saying anything again. I can look confident when given a voice but in a room I can disappear without trace as I find the crowds overpowering. I can get nervous over nothing and worry about never occurring consequences. There are times I would rather sit in the place of solitude than meet with someone face to face. I can have a crowd look to me for amazing prophetic words and all I want to do is hide in the corner. The master of mischief becomes the weak yes man when the pressure is on. The public persona can soon be crushed when people start to get to know me and see beyond the veneer. The fact is the criticisers could have a field day finding even more stuff about me that could point to me needing counselling. I worry sometimes that the person people get to meet is a disappointment after reading those bold statements. They want a roaring lion and end up with a purring kitten.
I am what I am.
I often ponder the path of my life and think why me? A young lad who loved his own company. The boy who would never speak up in class in case he was wrong. The one who could be the life and soul of a party if he knew people, but who would cower in fright when meeting people for the first time. God takes this only child with all his communication issues and wants him to communicate. Was I mistaken? Was God just tapping into another me inside me? The one that had a voice and wasn’t afraid to speak truth and shake the status quo. Why take someone who didn’t like speaking out and make him a speaker? Why have someone who feels so intimidated and out of his depth and take him on adventures into the unknown? Was God making me do stuff I did not want to do or was He bringing to the surface a me that even I didn’t know? My friend Tony John says that God has given me a mischief angel. I can be there behaving myself and then all of a sudden I can say or do something almost without thinking about it and it stirs up all the cans of worms and slays all the sacred cows going. The mischief angel has whispered in my ear again knowing that the more I have a chance to think about something the least likely I will be to do it. But is that me? Is that the angel? Is that God working through me? is that a me I should be or could be or want to be? Is that me in Him? Then outside of Him when intimidation and the voices start calling, is that not me but an inferior version? Or is it still me? Which version does God like best, or does He embrace either? It is funny even sitting here I am thinking ‘should I be writing this?’ What will people say? Is this really what people want to read? But the keys keeping tapping as if another me has something to say. I have a sneaky suspicion that God embraces it all, after all He formed me in my mother’s womb. He knew this kitten with a roar and a purr and loved it passionately. He embraces the troubler and the stirrer and the mischievous one, and He embraces the shy, intimidated one. There is no version of me that surprises Him or shocks Him or that He does not walk with in the cool of the day. This my friends is me. My life walk is getting to accept both of me is really at one with each other. But today I keep asking the question, which one am I?