One of my wonderful and gracious readers left a touching comment yesterday: “You are a great man…and obviously a great Dad.”

She’d read my latest post about slurpees, tithing, and the risk of generosity. She read my post, not my life. She, like so many, only sees my calculated revelations. She sees what I want her to see. Nothing more.

My congregation, they see more than my online blog family. They hear me preach every week, hang on the personal examples I share in my sermons. They bump into me in the foyer, watch me interact with my kids and plant a kiss on my wife’s cheek. They see me getting flustered fifteen minutes before the service starts because my laptop isn’t talking to the projector.

My Life Group, they see even more. They pray me through my issues, celebrate my victories and forgive me for my shortcomings. They sigh with me as I shuffle upstairs with another migraine to lie down in the dark with an extra pillow or two supporting my head.

But that’s nothing compared to what my kids see. They get the butt-end of my temper, the glassy-eyed apologies. They’re the ones that tiptoe around the house and eat supper in dimmed silence when my head is pounding. They’re the ones that get “dates with daddy,” play ministicks, thump me at video games, and wish I’d spend less time on my laptop. They’ll grow up knowing what my weaknesses and shortcomings are, no question. They’ll also remember, I hope, that I apologize quickly and sincerely. They know I’m not perfect, but that my heart is in the right place.

Shauna is my wife, my soul mate, my partner in crime, my lover, and the one who sees me best of all, humanly speaking. She’s bound for life to a flawed, passionate, raw, creative, fragile, growing man who loves God and wants to love him more. She, more than anyone in the world, knows who I am and who I’m not.

And then there’s Jesus, who knows me better than everyone else combined, better than I know myself. He’s somehow able to take snippets from all the partial snapshots and assemble a collage that captures me perfectly.

It’s not that I’m trying to be somebody different than I am. I try to be Brad, the same Brad, everywhere to everyone. I’m just saying that there’s more to this guy of God than meets the eye. At least, to your eye.