Keepin’ it real.
It started with my friend Shane getting real in a van full of guys he didn’t really know. He just told his story, no holds barred. 8 of us listening, amazed.
At that moment, just hours into the trip, the weekend changed – the mood shifted. We went from 8 guys who had never met to brothers. There were 20 of us in the group, but it was different between the 8 of us. It was real.
Last week, I was challenged time and again to be transparent, real, vulnerable. It started with this group of guys, and it carried over to a conference of hundreds of photographers. Personally, I shared about my dreams – failed and imperfect, but it started with Shane’s moment of honesty.
Available and Honest.
Jesus is a great guide in keeping things real. After my week in this mode, I saw the model played out in Jesus ministry. At one point in His story, Jesus sends out the disciples in pairs to do the same things He does – preach the truth, heal the sick and cast out demons. Amazingly…they do it.
Read what happens when they return to Jesus –
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
Two things happen:
I can imagine the scene as the disciples returned to Jesus. There were highs (casting out demons and healing the sick), and I’m guessing there were some lows – kicked out of communities, cursed, etc. I also imagine there were some really funny moments.
I’m guessing they sat around a fire, told stories, laughed, but still listened intently. Most importantly, Jesus heard their stories. He wasn’t above it. He was available. He cared.
We make the biggest difference when we are available. Last week, I had several opportunities to make myself available. Honestly, it was easy. I had no agenda, no schedule, no pressure. No surprisingly, as I was available and listened, I was able to care for these friends. I helped them.
I didn’t do or say anything amazing. I was just there. I was available.
Are you available?
Through the disciples sharing, Jesus saw something. He saw they were tired. He realized they needed a break.
So, Jesus is honest with them. He tells them to get in a boat, push away, and go somewhere no one else is.
It didn’t work. The people followed them, and they ministered anyway, but Jesus tried. He tried to give them a break, even when it was probably to his disadvantage – spreading His good news.
Shane was transparent with our friends. It tore down walls, and it opened up doors. The week wasn’t the same because of what Shane did. Men’s lives will never be the same because of what Shane shared.
When you are transparent and vulnerable, walls are torn down. Are you being honest? Are you telling the truth – about yourself or those around you?
You have the opportunity to be real. When you do it will impact lives. It’s worth it.
My friend Jeff shared this quote with the group the other day –
I don’t trust a man who hasn’t suffered; I don’t let a man get close to me who hasn’t faced his wound. Think of the posers you know — are they the kind of man you would call at 2:00am, when life is collapsing around you? Not me. I don’t want cliches; I want deep soulful truth, and that only comes when a man has walked the road I’ve been talking about. -John Eldredge