In more innocent times, "coming out" was something that happened to flowers: the inherent promise of a tiny bud which blossomed forth into the indescribable beauty of a fully revealed flower. The beauty of nature never ceases to astound us, whether the simple beauty of a primrose or the more complex beauty of other parts of God's creation.
Nowadays "coming out" often has different connotations. But, whatever our own perspective, for the person concerned "coming out" is about revealing to the world their true identity, God's reality of them as a person who is a valued part of His creation.
God "came out" - revealed himself - to the human race in the birth and life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. The distant God of the Old Testament came close to us in a real person, a person we could - and can - relate to individually. A person whose individual perfection we can see and appreciate.
Jesus is the only perfect person. As human beings, all the rest of us are flawed in some way, and fall short of God's perfect will for our lives. But, just as we can still see the beauty of a primrose even if one of its petals is crushed or faded, likewise we can see beauty in every one of God's creatures, including the human species, even though we know that - however hard we try - none of us will ever be as perfect as Jesus.
This Lent I am "coming out" from behind my pseudonym of AuntyPam so you will all know who I am - warts and all!
Jesus calls each one of us to be ourselves: to learn to accept ourselves as we are, and to reach out to others as his hands and feet and minds here on earth. He does not want us to be "closet Christians" but to "come out" and reveal the beauty of His life in ours as we seek to share the good news of His love and forgiveness with those around us.
"1 Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord; abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me."
Psalm 86: 1-7
This Lent, can we experience God's care and forgiveness (vs 5-7) as we reach out to Him in sorrow for our shortcomings?
Can we find God's joy as we trust and worship Him (Psalm 86; vs 2,4)?
What difference does God's "coming out" - or revealing - of His true love for us in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, make in our lives?
How will each of us "come out" for Jesus this Lent and Easter?
Rachel White (aka AuntyPam)