Up Close and Personal


Out of the mouths of babes!

After one of my shows a cute little girl, about 5-years-old stood staring up at me in awe!

“What is your name?”  I asked.

“My name is Allie.” She answered without ever taking her eyes from my face.

“Do you want an autograph?” I asked, thinking that she might be too shy or overwhelmed by the awesomeness of my presence to ask for herself.

Almost imperceptibly she shook her head no.

Suddenly filled with an even more awesome spirit of generosity I asked it she wanted a free DVD.

Again her curls bounced back and forth as she shook her head indicating she had no interest in a DVD.

Now growing a little uncomfortable with her relentless stare, I asked.  “How can I help you?”  I leaned close to hear her whisper…

“Up close, you’re really old!”

All of my self perceived “awesomeness” evaporated!  No autograph, no request for a DVD just a public proclamation that up close I look really old.  There are few times in my life when I have laughed harder. Later that night a question tumbled in my brain.

What do I really look like up close?  Other than old.

At work, in church, on stage or in any public place we often look different than we do “up close.” The people who best know what we look like “up close” are family members and people who see us when we are not trying to impress anyone. Here are some other questions that I asked myself after this experience that I hope you find interesting and insightful.

  • What would it look like to stop trying to impress people and let them see the “up-close” you?
  • Is your “up-close” person totally different than your public persona?
  • Do you have a group of friends who know the “up-close” you and love you anyway?
  • Are you willing to let anyone know the “up-close” you?
  • Is the “up-close” you the person you really want to be?
  • Can you let people be “up-close” with you even if you disagree with them?

This isn’t about spilling every secret of your life to the world. That would be foolish. Only a few trusted friends should be allowed that close.

But, I often find myself hiding parts of the “up-close” me for fear of disapproval. Part of me wants to let friends like you see the old guy more “up-close.”

Yet part of me fears the criticism that always comes when one dares to do so. I don’t claim to have the answers to all the above questions but I am facing those questions in my own life and would love to know your thoughts.

What are your thoughts?  How up close and personal should a person be?