You step into a room. It's your bedroom. Mentally note where your bed is, the dresser, maybe a desk, find the landmarks that make up this space. As you scan the room around you, you realize there's one thing out of place. It's not only large, but very bright as well and you wonder how you missed it to begin with. It's an easel, set up with a giant rectangular canvas. Someone has painted a beautiful picture of a vibrant blue sky, gentle white clouds are breaking up the summertime picture and across the center of this painting is one giant word. Painted in black, block letters it dominates your attention and draws you in. Not flashy by any means, but almost overbearing. The peaceful image of the sky offsets how demanding it is and seems to take your gaze from the sharp, abrupt edges of each letter. You take a couple steps closer, allowing yourself to enter your room now, being pulled towards this distinct image.
You stop in front of it and your heart starts to race with excitement. There's something here, you can feel it as the blood pounds through your body, reminding you of just how alive you are. Your breaths come a little bit faster and the slight pull you felt before becomes an overwhelming urge to simply bask in this appealing image, left here by... someone, for you to find.
The word is God and you are convinced you have found who you are in the shadow of the paintings image.
However, a small voice is whispering into your soul and while the painting is so distracting, and so appealing, you can't simply stand here. You follow the instructions of this gentle voice, and with a few hesitant steps, you walk around, and behind the easel.
Your closet door is open, and at first you're shocked to see all your clothes have been removed and there is nothing there. Only a dirty little square space, it's dark, and it's bare, and you realize why the painting was set up in the position it was, to hide this filthy little hole. No one would want to see that, it had to be covered by something. Something to grab your attention and keep your focus from what was hidden behind it.
The closet is you. The realization hits you like a freight train, and you stumble backwards, accidentally bumping the easel. Almost as if it's in slow motion, the easel and the precious painting it holds come crashing to the floor, revealing the inside of your closet to the world. Revealing who you really are. There's nothing you can do now, your cover has been ripped away, so you crawl, dejected and forlorn into your closet, and you sit on the floor. Knees clutched to your chest and head down. Shame. That is all you feel.
You've recognized the filth and shambles of this life you've been trying to lead and you cry out to this God you had so much hope in. Tears stream down your face as you realize you are broken and any sort of repair seems impossible.
Wait... wait, the still small voice is back. You lift your head and realize the light bulb hanging above you is glowing faintly and a peaceful calm settles over you. Jesus is here, sitting next to you, holding you in his arms. This place, this closet, with His presence it has changed. The light is growing stronger and shining from the cracks and open door. You no longer need this canvas to hide your heart. Jesus has changed who you are.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.