WYSIWYG? Probably Not.

My door is always open.

Well, not literally.  You know what I mean.  You’re welcome to come to my home anytime and sit and talk–or eat–or play the piano.  I want to be completely available.  Come any day.

Except Saturday.

Saturday is work day at our house.  Okay, to be perfectly forthcoming, it’s the day on which the Lovely Lady turns the house upside down.  She starts early in the morning with the first load of laundry.  This requires moving the stacks of miscellany from the top of the washer and dryer to the counter tops in the kitchen.  As the day progresses, the dining room is covered as clothes are folded and music for church the next day gets sorted on the table.  Some time in the afternoon, my grass covered shoes join the mess and possibly even a sweat-soaked tee shirt.  After a trip to the grocery store and to the place we purchase our allotment of fruit for the week, the table is completely obscured and the counter tops in the kitchen are crowded.  An empty pizza box may or may not join the jumble before the end of the evening.

Don’t come on Saturday.

My door is always open.  Except that day.

Transparency.  The term gets thrown around these days as if it were something to be desired.  We want transparency in our friends, we want it in our churches, we want it in our government.

Do we?

I won’t waste time arguing all the reasons that complete transparency isn’t the best plan in government, but examples will come to your mind if you want to fritter away a few hours thinking about it.  Ditto for most organizations in which we participate.  I’ve had several conversations with a few of my younger friends over the last several days about our personal relationships and if transparency is really what we want there.  I’ve gotten different responses.  I’ve even had an argument or two about it.  Oh.  We didn’t call it an argument.  We were “pushing back” at statements made by the other participant in the discussion.

Why my sudden interest in transparency?  Over the last several weeks, a few of my readers have written notes thanking me for just that–transparency.  My immediate reaction is to say that I haven’t been that.  For various reasons, I eschew transparency.  Admitting that I have a need for you to like me, I’m pretty sure that you would no longer care for me if I let you see the entire mess that is inside this place, this earthly home, from which I live and love–and hate–and sin.

Yep.  I said it.  I hate.  I sin.

You see, transparency isn’t what I want.  The rooms inside need to be tidied up a bit before they’re fit for company.  It’s a work in progress.

Besides the fact that you wouldn’t like me that well, I have a real desire to build and not to tear down those of you who choose to read these little essays.  There are some rooms into which you may never be invited.

It’s nothing personal.

There are just some things that are nobody’s business besides those whose business they are.  Does that make any sense?

So.  Transparency is out.  Perhaps, we just need to be opaque.  No–not enough light there.  Maybe translucent.  That’s it.

Translucent.  Light shines through enough to prove that there really is light in there, but the details are not evident to all.  You’ll need to come through the door to see the rest.

Fibber McGee’s Closet 1948

Still, when you come–don’t open any doors that are not already open.  I remember hearing the red-headed lady who raised me talk about Fibber McGee’s closet.  Fibber McGee and Molly were characters in a humorous radio show from the 1940’s.  Frequently, someone would open Fibber’s closet and you would hear the landslide as everything tumbled out.

That’s what I’m trying to avoid.  It’s not so much the embarrassment.  I’ll get over that.  I just don’t want anyone else to be hurt by the things I’ve squirreled away to be dealt with in some future time.

Some readers may have wondered about the title for this post.  WYSIWYG is techno-geek lingo for “what you see is what you get”, a popular way for computer programmers to tell you that what you see on your computer screen is the real thing.  When you type a document, you are seeing it just as the finished product will appear when printed.  It’s easier to work with a WYSIWYG program because you’re not always having to remember to click that key, or pull down this menu.  It’s a good thing.

With humans, it’s not so simple.  I don’t know a single WYSIWYG person in real life.  I’ve got this idea that when we leave this temporal shelter behind and reach our forever home, it will be different.

I certainly hope so.  I long to throw open the doors and give the place a good airing out.  This one room at a time gambit is getting a little old.  The day that the place can really have the doors always open will be a welcome one.

I hope you’ll come to visit then.  Transparent?  The entire house will shine with light so brightly you won’t be able to stand it without your sun glasses.

In the mean time, you can come to visit me here.  My door is always open.  Well, except for Saturdays.

Perhaps you could come on Wednesday.  The cleaners are here that morning.

Come Wednesday.

“He had shown her all the workings of his soul, mistaking this for love.”
(from “The Longest Journey” by E.M Forster ~ English novelist ~ 1879-1970)

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
(James 5:16a ~ NLT)

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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