Transparency is one of those words being thrown around a lot these days. I’ve used it in posts like this one. Dad referred to it as one of his fears when he thought about the idea of blogging with me. Transparency is a cool concept, I think, but maybe a bit overused? Too politically correct to even have meaning?
When I did a quick google search on the word, I found a lot of quotes. Mainly from the business world and by people whose names I only vaguely recognize. And it was paired with words like open dialogue and accountability. I did of course recognize Anderson Cooper’s name, and he apparently has said:
I think it’s a good thing that there are bloggers out there watching very closely and holding people accountable. Everyone in the news should be able to hold up to that kind of scrutiny. I’m for as much transparency in the newsgathering process as possible.
But when I looked up the word transparency in my trusty NIV Study Bible concordance, I couldn’t find it. It went from transgressors to trap. Transparency was nowhere to be found. There’s that wonderful list of Spirit-fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. But no transparency. You can find all kinds of commands to be this and be that to one another, but nowhere does it say be ye transparent.
So why is transparency such a big deal these days? Whether in business or blogging or church, why do we want it?
Could the call to transparency simply be a reaction to all the fake that we wade through in the world today? The lies we are told, the unreal reality shows, the political spin that makes us dizzy, the photoshopping, the scamming, the religiosity …
Just give me something real!
So when I talk about transparency, that is what I am meaning. Shunning fake and living real. Being honest. Spending my life, not hiding it. Holding my heart out, not protecting it. Sharing. Giving.
And as soon as I write those words, I know I’m lying. Because I don’t always do that. I fail. I fake. I fall. Often and painfully. Scraped knees, bleeding palms. Hidden hurt and bandaged heart, tucked away where no one can see. Afraid. And then, sometimes, slowly and gingerly unwrapped. Scars and scabs shared so another doesn’t feel alone in her disfigurement.
Because broken is what we all are. Broken, mended, scarred, healed, wounded, bandaged … but made whole in Him. And that is where the courage to be real comes from. Could this be transparency?
I couldn’t find the word transparency in scripture, but I did find this:
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5: 25-26
I love this verse. It is why we called the ministry I am involved in Washed in the Word. Friends, we are the church and we are loved. And through the word (and don’t you love that Jesus is called The Word!) we are washed, cleansed. Clean is my favourite thing to be. Fresh, pretty … radiant, without stain or even wrinkle or any blemish. Now that is encouragement for an almost fifty-year-old woman!
Maybe transparency is losing it’s meaning because of overuse. I don’t know. But when I talk about it, I mean living and sharing, authentically and honestly, with others who are trying to do the same thing. Not to promote myself or bring attention to myself, but because he has cleansed me, restored me, and given me the courage of the radiant.
Hey, Dad. I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on transparency that you might want to share down the road? I’ll look forward to hearing from you!