Cheers for Veneer
I was so proud to participate in the Q Gathering with 600 great, loving, thinking brothers and sisters in our town (Portland, Oregon) April 27-29. We came together to consider ways to bring the Good News to a hurting world, display the Kingdom, and fulfill our responsibility to God and the Great Commission He has given us. Several incredible presentations were made and then we got together in groups to further discuss the concepts. Nice plan.
Tim Willard was here from Atlanta. He was invited to share about his new book, “Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society,” which released on April 27. “Veneer” challenges us about the ways in which we build up a false image for others. It exposes the things we use to present ourselves with the purpose of enhancing our perceived value in others’ eyes (consumption, technology, and celebrity).
Tim’s friend and “Veneer” coauthor, Jason Locy, joined us. Jason is the creative director of a multi-disciplinary design studio, which gives him excellent conceptual insight into the issues of masking our true and beautiful-in-Christ selves.
After the presentations, I sat in with Tim and Jason’s lively discussion group. We drilled down on the issues, and Tim mentioned “veneer” in terms of an illustration, a reality that needs attention. While it seems like a pretty obvious concept, and the “ah-ha” moment comes easily, I argue that for two reasons it is critical to spend time considering why we put on “veneers.” These two reasons make me so grateful for the book and give me confidence in strongly recommending it.
First, the profundity and harshness of life under a veneer make it incredibly worthwhile for each of us to do a regular assessment. God’s continuous call to us throughout Scripture is to remember. Remember who we are in Christ. Remember what God has done in our lives. Remember how inclined we are to count on things other than God to define our identity.
Second, the main problem is not that we are inclined to veneer, but that we never do anything about it! You might call it “attending to your veneer,” or you might call it revival! I received a series of emails last week from friends in Arkansas describing with great joy that the Spirit of God has brought revival upon a couple of churches in the area. Our ears greatly rejoice in this news. As I studied the reports with keen interest and joy, the evidence of the revival became clear. At its heart was a series of confessions of “veneering” and a commitment to ridding those veneers.
Get this book! I encourage you to reflect on your life and the loved ones in your life who might also benefit from its message. What is underneath your veneer has far more beauty to offer the world. We long to see it!
Alongside this work, Tim is putting great effort into helping me craft the testimony of God’s work in my life into book form, to be used as a Gospel tool. We appreciate your prayers for that, that it would honor the Lord greatly and be used to draw many into the Kingdom of heaven.