Stuart's Blog

Awfulthenticity (or the fear of being real)

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I can only imagine
What it would be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes would see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine

From ‘I can only imagine‘ Bart Millard / Mercy Me 1999

authenticity noun (U) no plural

the quality of being real or true:The poems are supposed to be by Sappho, but they are actually of doubtful authenticity. The authenticity of her story is beyond doubt.

awful adjective (BAD)

A2 extremely bad or unpleasant:He suffered awful injuries in the crash.We had awful weather.She has an awful boss.What an awful thing to say!Would life be so awful without a car?The food was awful. She’d been ill and she looked awful.

Everywhere I look
in all of Christendom
I see this search
for authenticity

“You must be…”
“You should be…”
“Sheer hypocrisy…
If you can’t be…”

And yet
I can’t see
an original me
in my searches
It seems vanity
so help me
escape insanity
driving at me.
The real me
is too bad you see.
Well that’s the thing
is you CAN’T SEE!
Its too painful – for me!

And yet…
there must be
authenticity
that I can see.
Lose elasticity
that lets me
be who YOU
want me
to be
so I can see
the real me
in my quest to see
authenticity.

BUT
It’s awful
that reality
is not nice to see.
Genuine life can be
painful
and burdensome
as we chase the ransom
that we run from
around and around Lot’s home.
It can’t go on
pretending this is fun.
It’s sorrowful!

I searched far and wide
for an original
I could copy from
that the pain
might be gone.
But its a lost cause
with reality’s claws
stealing my tomorrows
imprisoned by today’s flaws
locked in the lie’s walls.

It’s awful!

Who would go before me
to help me
lift me
free me
heal me
sight restore to me
that I could see
and hear Thee
as You lead me
through Calvary
to REAL
Authenticity!


© Stuart Patterson 2019

Many many words have been written about being authentic. It is a struggle most people probably wish they did not need to have as they would probably rather everything was out in the open. Alas, human nature being what it is, we fear that people will not accept us for our faults – or may even cast us aside as we may be more successful or better than them at certain things. Or, just maybe the smell of our awfulness is too much for their authenticness so they have to leave us.

These words came as I pondered what it meant to me authentic. The reality is that to be truly authentic would, most probably be truly awful. We try our best and be as honest as we can, but always and only up to a point. We reveal as much of ourselves as we dare, but hide so much more.

The only Person I can see as being truly authentic is Jesus Christ. And yet – look how awful people were in response.

Acts chapter 2 says “Men of Israel, listen to this message: Jesus of Nazareth was a man certified by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. 23 He was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, and you, by the hands of the lawless, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. 24 But God raised Him from the dead, releasing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in its clutches.… “

Jesus did good, was authentic and real people could not handle it. Let’s be real, people, that other people might see people that help them be REAL people.

This POST is part of a wider collection to show the journey that would eventually lead me to the cross of Jesus Christ, my personal redemption, and my journey of faith afterwards. If you would like to know more of my story, please click on my “About” page and take it from there.

Alternatively, you can visit the Media Links page and see a short visit done by BBC Radio Scotland for an interview I did there.

If you or someone you love, needs help with the Christian response to addiction, or if you would just like to know more or need hope, please click on one of the following:

The Haven
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Bethany Christian Trust
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Stuart Patterson

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