Selfie of the Soul

I am not a fan of the “selfie.”* Call it vanity. There is nothing good about seeing your every imperfection so up close and personal. The crow’s feet, sun spots, laugh lines, and deep furrowed brow all serve as visible reminders of our human flaws.

I wonder what we would see if we took a “selfie” of our souls?

Would they look gritty like the graffitied walls of a New York City subway or luminous like the stained-glass windows of Sainte Chapelle in Paris? It’s amazing how our pride, judgement, greed, self-importance, fears, and resentments can deface what was created as sacred.

We often forget that the living architecture of our flesh and bone is home to the soul of God.

Ideally, a “selfie” of the soul would reveal some contour of the Divine. Instead of wrinkles and blemishes, our soul would radiate glints of hope, kindness, light, and love.

We live in a world that rarely gives much attention to the condition of our souls. Instead we are measured by the size of our bank account, professional stature, the accomplishments of our “prodigy” kids, and how young we can look despite the reality of our age. This world champions pride as a noble motivator and turns a blind eye when we are shrewd in taking care of ourselves before anything else.

“Self-absorbed” living is exhausting, with a high burn-out rate. I  see why those fisherman over 2,000 years ago laid down their nets at the edge of the Sea of Galilea and willingly gave up everything to follow a carpenter, God incarnate. Peter and his brother Andrew were looking for something more, something sweeter, something deeper, something more beautiful, something that would finally make their lives count for something.

How have we forgotten that inside each one of us lives a percolating miracle? It’s time to lay down our nets, think less about ourselves and more about the Divine that lives inside us, and get out of the way so God can do what God does best: epiphanies, miracles, redemption, conversions of the heart, love and more love.

There is enough darkness, sadness, and temptations in this world to swallow the soul whole…if we allow it. We can certainly keep fishing in the same waters, paying homage to a world that leaves us feeling empty, lost, anxious, and poor of spirit. Or we can follow our hearts and do something worthy, something really beautiful with our lives.



*Self-portrait taken using phone



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