Wouldn’t Church Get Interesting…?

What if, this Sunday, everyone— just for a moment or two—got completely, painfully, cleansingly, liberatingly honest?

I think it would sound a lot like this:

Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear. I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks – masks that I am afraid to take off; and none of them are me.

Pretending is an art that is second nature to me, but don’t be fooled. F0r my sake, don’t be fooled. I give the impression that I am secure, that’s all is sunny and unruffled within me as well as without; that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water is calm and I am in command; and that I need no one. But don’t believe me, please. My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask, my ever varying and ever concealing mask.

Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence. Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness. But I hide that. I don’t want anybody to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind – a nonchalant, sophisticated facade – to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation, and I know it. That is, if it’s followed by acceptance; if it’s followed by love.

It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself, from my own self-built prison wall, from the barriers I so painstakingly erect. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself – that I am really something…

Who am I, you may wonder. I am someone you know very well. I am every man you meet. I am every woman you meet. I am every child you meet. I am right in front of you. Please… love me.

Denis Waitley – Seeds of Greatness, pg 26-27

Yeah, I can hear the objections now.

I don’t claim this!

I won’t speak those lies over myself!

Okay. All right. Sorry I brought it up. Let’s paste on our piety one more week. Offer up one more hollow hallelujah and cardboard profile.  Another standard Hallmark greeting and stained-glass smile.

And cry and die a little more on the inside.

But…(I’m asking!)…what if?

What if the realest and safest place we could find on weekends was not the bar or the gym but our places of worship?


8 thoughts on “Wouldn’t Church Get Interesting…?

  1. Kristina says:

    Oh man, i used to carry this poem everywhere with me from my teen years to now [i probably still have it in a rubbermaid box downstairs]. i never knew where it came from.
    we all should fess up and claim that… cuz we all are sinners, trying like little kids to hide from the face of God.
    if we could all just see how really foolish that is… he he


    • pasturescott says:

      Hi again, Kristina! I am so glad Johnny (below) gave the poem’s originator. I never had seen this until I found it quoted it another book I am reading. You are so right: we still cower in the shadows like Adam, trying to hide from the Lord—even in each other! We are His body on earth, His incarnation to the world, and STILL we—I (!)—have become quite adept at imitating the wrong Adam.


  2. Thought-provoking post!
    Thank you.
    In my experience, the most Godly people are those who are most aware of their sinfulness and lack of true sincerity at the core of their being.
    A degree of transparency is really helpful for new Christians and pre-Christians – they need to know that they will never be perfect while on earth.
    May God bless you and your ministry.


    • pasturescott says:

      My friend, Robert! Bless you too–I’ve wanted to tell you for awhile now that I have been greatly instructed by your posts on your website, and found your “Core Message of the Bible” quite insightful!http://robertlloydrussell.blogspot.com/2011/05/core-message-of-bible-3.html

      Yes, Lord, for greater transparency that we might show you forth more clearly, so the Light of truth can come in. As I am transparent, it allows my brother to be transparent, then the synergy of that is not double ugliness but transforms into the beauty of Christ!


  3. brotherjohnny says:

    I believe that’s Charles Finn, originally. I knew it sounded familiar!!

    I’m the worst in the world about refusing to acknowledge anything less that the ‘fact’ the we *have been* (ALREADY!) crucified with Christ, seated with him in heavenly places, etc, etc, ….but even still, I am rediscovering the all too real subjective experience of being the ‘less than’ ….the “worm”.

    But, c’mon. I want to go beyond all of my own “deeper understandings” of how it all works and what it all mean.

    The poem is suggesting something much more real than all that, something much more substantial than my “pithy” expositions or dissertational dogmas….

    So, what if church had more of this kind of thing? More, uh…. *honesty*?

    Revival is a great word for it…
    but it would also be *Revolutionary*!!

    The programs wouldn’t be able to control It….
    The ushers and deacons wouldn’t be able to shush it out to the lobby….

    And God forbid, the sermon might be interrupted….in lieu of The True Sermon, The True Offering and The True Worship Service.

    But no…, we wouldn’t want to ruffle any feathers.


    • pasturescott says:

      This indeed is the true heart of revival, JT. Utter honesty. Not a season of those ‘getting stirred up then cool down’ kind of revivals many of us grew up with, but Upper Room kind of stuff that spilled into the streets. Ever wonder what was happening those 10 days in the Upper Room? Honesty. Unmasking. Transparency. Before they would get the Holy Spirit, He would get every ounce of them. When did the Church lose its flavor, savor and impact? I wager when they got fashionable with their masks and fig leaves. Again.


  4. matt laclear says:

    Right on!


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