When my sons were little, it seemed they each went through a stint of having “camouflage” as their favorite color. Not green. Not brown. Not black. It was camouflage. Whether they were intentionally choosing this “color” in hopes of concealing their real love for pink is something we may never know. Regardless, it was a memory that stirred within my spirit this morning.
Out of curiosity, I looked up the definition for the word according to an online dictionary site and came away with the following take. A few of the definitions for camouflage included:
* To conceal by the use of disguise or by protective coloring or garments that blend in with the surrounding environment;
* An outward semblance that misrepresents the true nature of something;
*An outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading;
*A covering that serves to conceal or shelter something;
*The act of concealing the identity of something by modifying its appearance;
*And my personal favorite – the reference that the British navy used during World War I: dazzle-painting
I can’t help but wonder how many of us choose camouflage as our own favorite color, or at least live as if it is. For reasons sometimes unknown even to us, it tends to be the hue we think flatters us the most, and thus, we fill our spiritual closets with apparel that disguises who we really are. We wrap ourselves in a covering that is misleading, in hopes that we will remain protected and sheltered from hurt. We spend hours “dazzle-painting” our identity so as to stay below the radar of rejection. But no matter how much we try and modify our outward appearance, beneath it all, we remain the same.
Regardless of how intricate the weave, how carefully crafted the outward disguise, it cannot change the true nature of who we are. And that’s what hurts. Because no matter how much we buy into the lie that camouflage is the perfect shade for us, deep down, we know that it’s not. Because it never reveals the “real you.” It simply masks the truth.
The truth is, you would look much better in a soft shade of blue or a flattering, creamy yellow – but it’s so hard to find. After all, camouflage is “all the rage” and lines aisle after aisle of choice. You’d really have to go against the flow and be brave enough to attempt a new fashion trend if you wanted to wear what suits you best.
And so, we settle for being what everyone else is, what everyone expects us to be… and we lose ourselves a little more each day.
But what if we decided to drop all pretense? To ditch the disguises? If we came clean with ourselves and chose to embrace who we really are – with all our flaws and wrinkles? What if we allowed ourselves to take that fashion risk and donned that creamy yellow blouse? What if we dared to live differently from others? Set apart from the masses. Seeking that which is above. Honest about our shortcomings. Genuine with our love. Transparent about our motives.
Because, underneath all that dazzle-painting, God knows the truth. And so do we.
The next time you’re tempted to hide yourself, go ahead and do so. But this time, ditch the dazzle-painting in exchange for Colossians 3:2-3:
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
The truth is, camouflage is NOT your best color. But the love of Jesus fits you perfectly. Why not try it on and allow it to transform you from the inside-out.