Today I visited Villa Contarini in Piazzola sul Brenta, near Cittadella with my Italian mom and the kids. It is beautiful, elaborately decorated all across the front, and inside every single wall has been painted. However, as we walked to the garden behind the the villa, I was surprised to find that the back side is not decorated at all. Simple concrete, it looks unfinished, and ugly. I learned that because it was so expensive to build something so extravagant, the front was well-presented, as this is the side most people would see, while the back was left bare.
This contrast made me think about how we as people so often present our best side to the public. We are happy to share our successes and talents to the world, even sometimes misleading others to think we have more perfectly-put-together lives than we really do. But when it comes time to be genuine, honest, and real about our failures and struggles, we are much less willing to be so open.
Contrary to how we feel we must present ourselves, God tells us to be real. If we truly believe the gospel, then we know that Jesus died and sacrificed himself for us, because we are not and will not ever be perfect on our own. We need a savior, and Jesus is just that. And so, instead of hiding our unfinished or imperfect lives, we can be honest about where we need growth and support. We can be weak, because He is strong.
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9
See more photos of Villa Contarini and nearby Cittadella, the Italian city where I am currently living, here
I believe in God's grace through Jesus. I love to learn, in a variety of contexts - reading God's Word, interacting with people from diverse backgrounds around the world, and as a student of Linguistics and Foreign Languages at Western Washington University. Pages of My Passport is dedicated to sharing this journey of learning through written and visual content.