You know that woman you think is the perfect mom? Or that neighbour with the overstock of brains, charm and work-ethic?
They’re messed up. They catastrophically bomb at life sometimes, just like the rest of us.
I’m telling you this for a reason. It’s because, I feel like, as Christians, we’re wasting time. So I’m calling you out. It’s time for action.
While we’re putting on our ‘unbroken’ masks, and falling for everyone else’s mask, we’re missing the point. We have a job to do, and this image thing is getting in the way.
I’ve written about this recently in 7 Simple Ways to Get Past Someone’s Mask, where I mentioned being accused, repeatedly, of presenting a ‘got it all together’ image. This never fails to make me chuckle, and you don’t have to know me long to see the truth.
Still, apparently,I appear to be a moderately successful adult. The truth is always more complicated than the image we present, though, isn’t it?
I don’t mean that I’m being fake. I am , pretty much, the same person behind closed doors as I am in public.
Except when I’m not. And I’m going to tell you about it so you can see that what looks ‘together’ isn’t always.
Picture a little plastic car set up on the board game Life. Go with me. It’ll make sense.
There’s me. I’m a little pink peg, sitting in the driver’s seat. But I’m having trouble staying upright in the front seat hole, because a small part of my pinkness has been shaved off and left behind.
It’s back at the beginning of the game, at the baby peg daycare. It’s the part of me that’s still a child.
Most of the time, I drive my car, meet the challenges of the game, and continue on to the next stage. Unless the challenge requires that part of me that is still in short-pants.
Then, my whole adult being goes into a holding pattern, while the child-part tries to manage whatever is coming at it.
It looks something like a five year old lost on a city street. Panic, tears, running around in circles, desperately trying to find something that feels safe. Often glomming onto things that aren’t.
Satan loves this part of me. Children are so easily lied to.
Just writing that doesn’t feel safe, by the way. It feels like opening myself up to the judgement of others.
So why do it, you ask? Why not continue to let people judge me on how I present to the world?
Because it’s like I said earlier, this image thing is getting in the way of the job we have to do. We weren’t made to live in our masks; in a house of cards. We can only really live in a house of love.
That’s the job. Love.
I’m convinced that we cling to our masks and buy into the masks of others because of the “If you only knew the real me, you wouldn’t like me” epidemic.
You may never have said those words to yourself. I didn’t. But I sure learned how to present well, despite not feeling well on the inside, because letting my insides show felt dangerous.
So, I’m blowing the top off. Again.
At the risk of repeating myself, the masks we wear – the ‘unbroken’ masks – keep us apart; they keep us from doing our job. They keep the love out, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a life without love.
…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:2
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should abandon any self-control we do have, in the name of being ‘real’. And I certainly don’t think we should go up to the ‘got it all together’ looking people and say, “You! I know you’re really messed up. Let me see you panic.”
Seeing me panic wouldn’t likely help your spiritual growth anyway, but knowing that I panic might.
Just knowing that everyone has brokenness and that some people’s ‘togetherness’ is entirely smoke and mirrors – all mask – helps me reach out in love.
So now you know what’s behind my ‘togetherness’, and I’m calling you out. I’m calling myself out, too.
Those people who look like they’ve got it all together; they don’t.
Be real. Be courageous. Love more.
Yes, love your family more. But let them see you love your community more.
Don’t just volunteer for the needy. Love the person standing next to you. Even if you’re sure she doesn’t need it.
If you’re still not convinced that everyone – even the ‘perfect’ people – actually deal with brokenness, or if you think theirs is of the ‘dripped Frappuccino on my Kate Spade top’ variety, while yours if of the ‘sliding into the abyss’ variety, I suggest you check out IAmSecond.com.