The Modern Paradox

It’s the paradox of this fame-starved generation. We’re told to hunger for world-wide significance, when all the while that banquet table is bankrupt. This isn’t Hollywood. The average person will not become famous, while those who do live under the constant scrutiny of their so-called admirers. The sooner we let go of the pursuit of self-exaltation, the sooner we’ll find contentment.


Photo Credit: Tablecloth – Free images on Pixabay

Stars Without Makeup

Blog_MakeupPaletteThere’s something more captivating about one picture of a star without makeup than all the paparazzi’s red carpet photos combined. What is it that makes the headline “Stars Without Makeup” such a common theme in modern media? It’s the opportunity to see beyond the air-brushed mask of idyllic glamour into the reality of what these stars really are…human.

Sometimes while standing in the checkout line, I catch a glimpse of a de-glammed star photo and something tugs at my heart. Compassion, maybe. I feel for that person behind the mask who lives in a prison of luxury, shackled to the trappings of fame—a slave of the ever-watching world..

If you look closely enough, beyond the smiles on even a glammed-up photo, you’ll see the sadness. The emptiness. The loneliness and disappointment. The toll that stardom has taken on a mere mortal. It’s something reminiscent of the story of King Midas, who in his lust for gold lost all that really mattered to him.

This looking beyond masks applies to us regular folk, too. We all wear masks sometimes. But the trained eye of true love can see beyond.

There was a woman on the run, in the desert, fighting for her life and that of her son. God met her in the desert with a display of tender compassion that nourished her soul and brought her back to life. There, in her deepest place of desperation, she bestowed this name upon her rescuer: “The God who sees.”

He sees into our hearts—our deepest places of darkness, and loves us still—bidding us to discard our masks and come as we are. Empty. Broken. Yet free. True love SEES.

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)

Source: Stars Without Makeup

Photo Credit: Cosmetic Palette | erfan a. setiawan | Flickr

Beyond the Public Eye

Blog_EmptyStageThere was a time when it was okay to be unknown. People sang in the shower without aspiring to idol status. Gifted writers were content when their words served to encourage their friends and loved ones. Iron chefs cooked for the love of food and family.

Now everything’s a competition. A good voice isn’t enough unless it’s discovered. The written word seems worthless if not hailed by the masses. There’s even cooking shows that turn the kitchen into a stage and the well-cooked meal into a shot at stardom.

What drives us to push our talents and abilities into the public eye? Why are we so discontent with obscurity?

Maybe we’re longing for significance—believing it can only be found in worldwide recognition. If the world knows we’re gifted, we’re assured of our existence. We feel validated only when acknowledged by others. Add impatience to the mix. We want immediate gratification from our efforts—likes and shares, comments and accolades.

It’s interesting to note that some of the most enduring works of art were created in obscurity. Many now-famous writers, artists, and composers weren’t recognized for their work until they passed on from this life. Would we of this fame-famished generation be content to know our greatest works will benefit those powerless to build our present-day ego?

I’d rather have my work outlive me for the benefit of a generation I’ll never see than for it merely to endure a short-lived hype. Serving in obscurity ensures sincerity. If I’m using my talent only for immediate recognition, hypocrisy is likely to steal the stage—my works governed by the feeble and fleeting opinions of man. It’s better to flourish in obscurity than to waste away in the toxic waters of fame.