Brian’s Reflection: Monday, August 4, 2008
You blows who you is.
- Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong,
musician, born on this day, 1901
There have been a few people in my Life whom I experienced as authentic. Or, as Jesus said of Philip, “without guile”. This is not the same as “perfect”. More, it means that “what you see is what you get”. In her own way, at least to me, my mother was like that. And my brother. It’s a lovely quality, a kind of simplicity of being. I don’t have it. Far too “complicated”!
Satchmo is saying something a little more than “without guile”. He is talking about expression, about extending oneself in some creative way. While I never met her (but I loved her), Mahalia Jackson struck me as someone who “blows who you is”. When I heard her sing, and watched her face, I knew without question who she essentially was by what came flowing out of her - a person close to “God”.
Anyway, my point is this. Our Life is kind of like Satchmo’s trumpet, or Mahalia’s voice. It may say who we “are”, or who we are becoming, or what are struggles are, or our conflicts, or our joy or hurt. If it’s going to be authentic, we have to be free to be authentic. To be self-aware. Conscious. Not hiding, from ourselves or anyone else. And certainly not from God, or our Christ-self.
Life isn’t about technique. It’s about heart. About being in touch with what you feel. And it has been my experience that this is what God wants, more than any silly “perfection”. God wants us to be free to know and be who were authentically are. Jesus was always freeing people from the constraints that “society” tried to bind and control them with. And when that gift was accepted, amazing things happened.
When someone expresses “heart” in any way, we are moved, we are blown away, we are captured by wonder. We hear again what power just being authentically who we are has.
Take courage. Go deep. Then let it rip! Truth only enhances the human community.