Ugly Soul.

You can’t photoshop an ugly soul.

There is so much good that comes from social media. I’m not hating on any of it. The more I read about it, the more I think about the applications, connections and the reach it has, I’m blown away.

I can remember a world where reaching millions of people with what you ate for supper was impossible. Hitting up a “party line” with friends or jumping on ICQ was the latest and greatest and honestly, it was great. I can remember being in a high school COM class where we developed film in a darkroom and half the shots were garbage because you basically had to be a professional photographer to work a camera. Things have changed and in my opinion, for the better.

The thing I can’t shake, the one flag that I can’t seem to ignore is the way we think a VSCO’ed pic or a viral video of ourselves can hide the ugliness in our souls.

Of course, no one wants to see a back picture of themselves, the same was true in the ’90s. I think that’s very human and normal. What I mean is that this social media era is teaching us that if you’re pushing out enough beautiful content, you can justify having an ugly soul. You can “do you” as long as your followers have images and videos that help them forget how ugly their souls actually are too.

Our tendency to mask ourselves, our propensity to hide is nothing new. We don’t want people to see who we really are, what we are really going through because that level of vulnerability is terrifying. I heard Jay-Z one time talk about going to counseling after he cheated on Beyonce and how he finally understood why the guys in his neighborhood would always say “What you looking at? You got beef?” It wasn’t that they even wanted to fight! What they were really saying was ” I don’t want you to see my pain or who I really am and I’ll protect that facade at all cost.”

I read this again today: “…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Aren’t we exhausted yet of trying to beautify our ugly souls? God sees through all the filters and angles. He’s not interested in who we are portraying ourselves to be. He sees us. I mean REALLY sees us. He’s not put off or intimidated. He sees the masterpieces he can make out of our ugly souls. He has a saviour complex that wants to save us from the impossible work of beautifying them ourselves. He’s the only one who can.

You can’t photoshop an ugly soul.


It’s been ten years.

A decade ago I hit publish on my first contribution to the blogosphere. I was 24, I was arrogant and unmedicated. I ended up hurting more people that I ever helped. And so, after 2 years of experimenting with blogs and the new world of social media, I quit. I deleted every post I ever wrote on this blog. I still used Facebook and Instagram to highlight work stuff and to have an online persona like everyone else.

In that time I’ve been through a lot. I moved my family twice. I burned out professionally. I almost lost my marriage and family. I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. All the stuff that isn’t “post worthy” on Instagram. I’ve wrestled with God and with myself trying to make sense of how I had made such a mess of life in such a short time.

Ten years later, I now walk with a limp. A limp that is a constant reminder that God loves me too much to leave me the way I was. Don’t get me wrong… I’m still learning and journeying, but I’m no longer obsessed with arriving. I’m happy, I’m content and I’m starting to understand how to not wish away the time I’ve been given.

Let’s give this another try.