Being “real” isn’t pretty, it isn’t just a new level of honesty. It is rarely applauded and is met with more blank stares than approving eyes. It is nakedness and everyone is naked on the inside. To be real means to show people parts of yourself that you want to hide away, to let people peek inside the closet of your heart. It is not liberating, at first. It is humiliating. But we must fight off that impulsive desire to run and sow fig leaves to cover ourselves. The truth is the only eyes that every really mattered have always seen those parts of us anyway, even when we did not. The body needs men and women who are authentic, authentic to the point it hurts. People are drowning in our pews because we are more concerned with how we are viewed by others than how these struggles could help them live out how God views them. It is easy to picture Jesus on the cross in all his glory but despite what our minds tell us this was not a pleasant image. He was broken, disfigured, and bleeding. He was stripped naked, there was no cloth covering him like the movies portray. All his hidden parts were exposed. But isn’t this the true miracle of God? Not that he can just salvage the best parts of us but that he can take all that brokenness, all that shame, all that inner turmoil that we keep hidden away and make something beautiful.