Pastor Bo: A right-on-the-nose evaluation of fame

Photo from Bo Wagner / Have you seen this man? This selfie of Bo Wagner covered in drywall dust has gone viral as a statement by some anti-mask wearers that masks can't protect users from small particles in the air. In some discussions, medical personnel have weighed in with reminders that masks are effective at containing the wearer's cough and sneeze droplets, especially important for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who may not know they carry the coronavirus. Wagner says he's surprised that it's his nose that has ultimately brought him fame.

My mother has, for years, expressed her opinion that one day I will be famous. My wife as well has asserted that she expects people across the world to know me. But being, in my view, "a no one from nowhere," I have merely brushed those lofty expectations aside as the rose-colored-glasses view of the people who love me. So when fame finally came, it was as much of a shock to me as to anyone.

"Hey, is this your nose?"

That message was a bit disconcerting. I cast about in my mind trying to figure out what my good friend could possibly be talking about, and then I saw the picture he attached.

It was indeed my nose.

Perhaps a bit of a backdrop is needed for you to fully grasp the hilarity and oddity of my Mike Wazowski "I'm on the cover of a magazine!" type moment (from a scene in "Monsters, Inc.")

In the five years we have lived at our house, I have repaired many of the things that were destroyed by vandals as it sat vacant for many months before we bought it. But I had not yet gotten around to fixing all of the destroyed drywall in the garage. A few weeks ago, I finally turned my attention to that loathsome task. I rehung, repaired, retaped and mudded everything. Finally, it was sanding day, and for five hours, I sanded like a madman.

In order to keep from choking to death, I wore a dust mask. When I finally finished and came upstairs, I gasped at the deathly sight I saw in the mirror. I looked absolutely horrible, enough so to make me laugh hysterically.

If I take selfies, those kind of pictures are usually what you will see from me. So I snapped a picture, captioned it "If you are looking for a radical transformation, may I recommend five hours of sanding drywall?" and put it online.

A Facebook friend saw it, cut it down to just my nose and mouth, and noted that the mask had not protected me against drywall dust and would not be effective at protecting against COVID-19 either.

Please pay attention: This column is not about masks or COVID-19. If you want to debate that issue, your debate is not with me. The only thing I unwittingly contributed to the situation was my nose, complete with nostril hairs coated in white dust. My point in writing this is that, within 24 hours, I was getting messages literally from across the country saying things like "Your nose went viral!" and "Hey, is this you? It looks like you!"

My Mike Wazowski moment. I have preached in 14 countries, written weekly newspaper columns (complete with my entire face on the profile picture) for nearly 10 years, authored multiple books and been interviewed on the news, and it is my nose that is finally making the rounds from coast to coast.

"Fame" is such a weird, fickle thing.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Peter penned these words: For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away (1 Peter 1:24).

Mankind has always had within himself the desire for glory and fame, despite the fact that, as Peter said, all of that glory quickly fades away and disappears. Living life seeking after it, therefore, is the height of wastefulness. And yet, people fight to get in front of the news cameras, clamor to have their picture taken with celebrities and literally have their day made or ruined by how many or few "likes" a post or picture gets.

Live your days to honor God and be productive, and let neither fame nor anonymity be a factor or a goal. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Any life lived for our glory will be disappointing to God and will leave us hollow rather than fulfilled.

That is something that we all need to "nose."

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at Email him at

photo Pastor Bo Wagner