I woke up one day and discovered that my girlfriend was not the person I had come to see her as. She was not trying to control me; she was not trying to suck the life out of my passions; she wasn’t even jealous of the time I liked to invest in those passions. All she wanted was the freedom to enjoy them with me. What I thought I saw in her was actually the residue that the lens of my own fears had left on my perception. Because I had always pushed people away out of fear of compromising my creative time, I assumed that she was hitting me at my weakest spot–but she wasn’t. She was giving me the freedom to be alone again and again, but still I didn’t believe that she meant what her simple acts of love were saying. I couldn’t see it because I was insecure.

She was powerless. What could she do other than let me go, and let me go, and let me go? She couldn’t clean my lens for me. Thank goodness, she didn’t try.

If my insecurity could cut me off from another human being, how might it damage my connection with God? He, of course, can clean our lenses for us at any time–indeed, he’s the only one who ever does. But the fact that he can do it doesn’t mean that he always will, or that he’ll keep them clean for us. His method is not to control us or protect us from our own disasters, but to let us live life, love, and hate, with occasional moments of revelation when the lenses come clean.

How do I see God through my own insecurity? Do I cling to the rituals and doctrines of past generations out of fear that God cannot relate to me if I don’t? Do I feel a sense of guilt when I choose a novel over the Bible at breakfast one day? Do I check my hair in the mirror before going to church even though I don’t give a damn about it throughout the week? Do I feel a need to expound X number of core truths about the gospel to some lost soul instead of meeting him wherever he came from and letting God do the rest?

God can break our insecurity, and sometimes he does. If he isn’t laughing when it happens, he must be crying. But most of the time he seems to leave us to make the move that only he can give us the strength to make.


I’m happy just because I found out I am really no one.

Bright Eyes, At The Bottom Of Everything

To be someone is too great a burden.

If I’m someone, I have to keep up; I have to do it right; I have to play the game.

If I’m someone, I have to tell God he is three in one because all good Christian someones do.

If I’m someone, I have to plunge upwards alone in the great climbing wall of life, stepping on every living human foothold below me until I can stand on the head of every other climber who wants my job.

If I’m someone, I have to fight for my space, wherever I live, and exclude those around me from my moment-to-moment existence.

If I’m someone, I can’t trust others to drive my car, use my computer, or touch my things. Oh, and I certainly don’t have gas to drive half a mile and give someone her forgotten phone charger.

Ego is fear. Fear of society’s judgment regarding lifestyle choices; fear of losing salvation for not telling God the right things about him; fear of getting stepped on and falling off the climbing wall; fear of having my personal space violated mentally, emotionally, or physically; fear of having my expensive possessions damaged by the careless hacks who annoy me all day long; and fear of running out of gas.

To be no one is weightless.

If I’m no one, I can tell God that I accept whoever he is with open arms.

If I’m no one, I can accept his forgiveness without the weight of trying to do it myself as if I were someone.

If I’m no one, I can let go of the climbing wall and float.

If I’m no one, I can experience nothing but joy when someone else comes crashing into my personal space.

If I’m no one, my car, my computer, my gas, are all nothing to me, and they’re more useful when they’re helping a someone than when they’re rotting in front of no one.

Pretending to be someone makes us fearful–for good reason. There is only one Someone, and he made us all no ones. The weightlessness of no-one-ness is incomparable.

Synthesized from face-to-face conversation with Matthew A. and Facebook comments from Matthew A. and Ryan S.

Oh, it was a wonderful splash.