It sucks to be caught in the middle of the storm. It sucks even more when the storm continues to grow bigger and bigger and you can no longer see the ground beneath you or any of the sights that were once familiar and comfortable. All you see is water and wind for miles and miles and miles….
How did I get here? Which way up? When did it even start raining?
Life isn’t always calm nor is it full of sunshine and roses. Sometimes we experience little sprinkling of rain here and there and rarely see a truly turbulent storm. Other times what starts out as a sprinkling of rain becomes a pelting of drops that become bigger and harder and faster. Pretty soon the troubles of life begin to flood in all around you and before you know it, you are swept under by the tidal waves raging all around you. The water is rushing and moving so fast now that no matter how hard and long you fight to stay on the surface, the current keeps pulling you under and spinning you around until you no longer which way is up and which way is down.
A lot of us experience these storms in life but we often bury these storms deep inside. We paint a picture of a calm and smooth sailing surface when underneath we are fighting the hurricanes and monsoons and tidal waves that never seem to let up. But no matter how deep down the storm is, or how well we think we’ve got it covered, it will almost always make it’s way to the surface.
In a sense it’s funny and ridiculous that we feel we have to keep a perfect appearance on the outside because no one is perfect. Sometimes I wonder why we put such ridiculous expectations on each other. God sees us and accepts us as broken, imperfect people that need a lot of work and help. He, a perfect God who should demand perfection, shows endless compassion on wretched souls and wants to help us on our journey. We as humans put such high and unrealistic expectations on ourselves and each other that it’s no wonder people never want to tell others what they truly feel.
I of all people struggle with allowing other to see the real me. I struggle with how others perceive me and hope to God that no one sees how broken and messed up I am. I dread the thought of appearing weak or incapable of doing something. If I had my choice, I would keep my messy life locked away in a closet and make sure no one would ever be able to discover its contents.
It’s unpleasant to be messy, but maybe God has called us to be messy once in a while. Maybe He has asked us to take down the masks we all put up and be real with each other. The next time you attend church or interact with fellow believers, think about the words of the song by Casting Crowns “Stained Glass Masquerade”
“Is there anyone that fails, is there anyone falls, Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small? Cause when I take a look around Everybody seems so strong, I know they’ll soon discover that I don’t belong. So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay. If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too. So with a painted grin, I play the part again So everyone will see me the way that I see them.
Are we happy plastic people under shiny plastic steeples with walls around our weakness and smile to hide our pain. But if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken maybe then we close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade.
Is there anyone who’s been there are there any hands to raise Am I the only one who’s traded in the altar for a stage. The performance is convincing and we know every line by heart. Only when no one is looking can I really fall apart. But would it set me free if I dared to let you see the truth behind the person that you imagine me to be. Would your arms be open or would you walk away? Would the love of Jesus be enough to make you stay.
Are we happy plastic people under shiny plastic steeples with walls around our weakness and smile to hide our pain. But if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken maybe then we close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade”