Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photoshopping My Life

The other day I was looking at different friends’ photos on Facebook and realized that some of them had a fun, boldy-colored graininess to them. I decided to recreate that with some of my own photos. So, at 6:45 am, when I should have been doing other things, I opened up my Microsoft picture manager and went to work.
I tweaked, and torked; turned and twisted photos. I exaggerated brightness, while also manipulating darkness. I hyped up some blues and toned down some reds. I contrasted, cropped and cooked those photos until I thought I looked as hip the 22 year old on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Then I realized something…I was still ME! I can tweak those photos until the “witchy-poo” wart on my chin is erased (that’s certainly less expensive than my deductible to see the dermatologist)~but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. I can play with shadows and light to smooth out those fine lines that several seasons in the sun and many, many months of motherhood have bountifully blessed me with~but those lines are still there, waiting to be uncovered so they can reveal all my secrets.
Was I trying to photoshop my life? Was I trying to censor what I didn’t want others to see? Was I trying to become more like the World by altering what God intended me to be? You can argue that it’s all in fun, I would, for sure. But, what is the bottom line here? Am I thinking deep down in my core, in my heart of hearts, in the “always a little girl” part of me; do I think God’s artwork isn’t perfect?
Here’s the deal…God’s sense of beauty is constant…it’s unchanging. He’s not fickle like we are in the World. God doesn’t follow trends, and doesn’t look for the It girl or It boy. He made us in His image, and He is the ultimate artist. He knows how to match the colors because He created the colors. He knows just how to perfect the saturation of color on my face, and how to blend shadows and light.
So, if the Master Creator made me in my form, why am I photoshopping? The answer lies all around me. I am of the World, but my soul is NOT of this World. I am living in a society striving for beauty and perfection. I am being washed in waves of want each day; waves that crash upon my heart and break my beliefs into smithereens. “I just don’t look like her,” “I wish I had eyes like that,” “Why did God make me so short?” Daily I compare myself to others…and daily I question my dissatisfaction in me!
It’s this “of this world” feeling that requires me to, each day, live with a purposeful pattern of self-affirmation. Yes, the “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and Dog-gone~people like me” mantra of Stuart Smalley is really what God wants us to remember. After all, He is the shepherd who would chase after me if I strayed foolishly from the flock. He is the physician who would perform miracles; works of medical intervention if it meant ensuring my relationship with Him. He is my bridegroom preparing to receive me at the end of that white-carpeted aisle…
There’s a book written by James W. Moore titled If God has a Refridgerator, You Picture is on It. I can’t help but love that image. Don’t we stick all of our important, bragging-rights on our refridgerator? I imagine if I handed Him a photoshopped picture of myself God would say, “Get back from me, I never knew you…” But, if I come to Him as the innocent child He molded with His own hands…He will snatch up that photo and stick it on the fridge along with a gold star sticker that reads, “Well done”…

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Tammie!!! Well said!



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