I’ll take what’s behind door #3!

Do you remember all those old game shows? A contestant would finally make it to the last round of the show and would stand there, a nervous wreck, jumping up and down, trying to decide whether to choose door #1, door #2, or door #3. Which one has the car? Which is the European vacation? Which is a new living room complete with a pool table? The thing is, no matter what the curtain or door revealed, it was good. The prize was fun, extravagant, and nearly always something the contestant wanted. And it was usually something they could not have afforded on their own.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about baptism. Her son is hesitant, not sure how much of Christianity he believes. I asked, does he believe in Jesus? If the answer is yes, it should be simple. Baptism isn’t like a final exam, something you do to prove your knowledge. You don’t need to have experience, you don’t need to study, you don’t need to prove you’ve reached a certain level or that you’re worthy. You just have to get to the point where you’re standing in front of the doors wanting to know what He has in store for you. You have no idea what’s behind the doors, but you trust that He wouldn’t offer you something bad. You may be a little scared. It might not be exactly the same as what your friend found. It might be safe, or it might be a little risky. But you understand that until the door is opened, you won’t know for sure what it is, how it makes you feel, or how it will change your life. You just know that it will be good. So take a deep breath and pick one. Because opening that door is the only way to know what is waiting for you. Your very own, personal, made-just-for-you grand prize.

Wearing a wig

When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, one of the things that was difficult for her was going out in public knowing people were looking at her. She was afraid people would be watching her to see if she had lost her hair, if she had on a wig, if she was losing weight, if she looked sick yet... And people may have been watching, but the good news is she looked great through it all. It’s been several months, and my mom is healthy (thank you, Lord!). People are curious, though. Today I saw an acquaintance of hers, and she said she’d seen my mom the other day, “But how is she?”

“Great,” I replied, and started thinking.

Typically, when we look at people on the outside, ourselves included, and we see nothing unusual, we decide everything must be fine. And that’s how we want it. We don’t want people watching us, looking for signs that our health is failing. We don’t want the stigma of being labeled with a disease. If no one knows it’s there, we don’t have to talk about it. But at the same time, no one can help us treat it.

With my mom, since people know something is (or might be) “wrong,” they wonder. They can’t tell by appearances, so they ask. But how many of us have something painful on the inside that no one ever sees, that no one knows to ask about? We might be eaten up by guilt, or fear, or regret, or sorrow. Most of what hurts us can’t be seen on the outside. Thank God He knows our hearts, that He can see what the world misses. That He knows to talk to us, and soothe, and touch, and heal, even when others don’t know we need help. We’re good at covering; we hide our “illnesses” better than a great wig with perfect highlights and a cute cut hides a bald head. So maybe it’s time to bare all before the Lord, and let Him do His thing.