This weekend, I met a woman who described herself as “100% raw organic Michelle,” and what she meant by that was that what she sees when she looks at herself in the mirror isn’t very pretty. It was her way of saying she was pretty messed up. We were at a small church gathering at the time, and the comment served to endear her to everyone. We all knew immediately what she meant. I mean, really, who wants 100% organic all the time, anyway, and when you throw in “raw” well that makes it even less appealing.
When anyone gets a clear view of their sinful, selfish self, the sight is never very pretty. It can be horrific and devastating. It can be crippling. We normally protect ourselves from this. We have complicated rationalizations. We tell ourselves stories that shield us from reality and we rarely measure ourselves with honest scales. Our weights and measures are all off. But sooner or later, the truth comes out and we are forced to see ourselves as we really are. It’s in those moments that, as painful as it might be, we actually become free — free from all the expectations that we or others put on ourselves — free to be who we are, whatever that might be. Free to be 100% raw organic you.
“Free to be me” is a freedom that usually comes at the expense of failure. It comes after trying and failing to be anything but who we are. “Free to be me” is actually a wonderful discovery, because in it we find out we actually like ourselves. Messes and all, we accept ourselves because we discover, lo and behold, that this is the way God accepts us — as we are. As Bob Dylan sings, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.” We are the person Christ died for, and He doesn’t want to change us into someone else; He wants to make us His and in doing so, make us wholly who we are. Michelle liked being 100% raw organic Michelle. She liked being who she was and trusting God with the rest. Its’s really her only option, that, or hide and lie about who you are, and I don’t think she could even do that if she wanted. She was too raw.
This is truly the power of the new covenant. God takes us as we are and makes us into something new. We are not in charge of what that looks like. He is. We are free to be who we are and let God be in charge of who we are becoming. It’s the good news and it’s wonderfully freeing. None of us have anything to hide.
Find out what it means to be 100% raw organic you. You’ll find out you actually like it. Then find a group, if even one or two people, who will allow you to be who you are and start loving others in the same way.