When I look around, I see a lot of masks. It doesn’t matter what you claim to believe or be or identify with—the truth is the majority of us put on a face whether we’re aware of it or not. We place our identity in something, sometimes more than one thing, but all of these things are not truly what our souls long to find definition in. But as humans, we can’t help but search. You can claim you’ve found what you’re looking for, but in truth you are still searching.
Heck, I’ve found Jesus, but I am still searching. Not for something more than him, because I do believe he fulfills me, but for a sense of belonging and meaning in this life. This is why we put on faces—an attempt to blend in and become a part of a group that thinks in ways as similar to us as possible. We all want to be accepted, adopted into some sort of family. But the problem I’m seeing is that in this striving for acceptance, we not only forget the basic truth of who we are, but we forgo a beautiful unveiling, a glorious discovery. I see this phenomenon of mask-wearing both in the church and outside of the church. It’s like a generational disease. Nothing new, but a disease nonetheless.
What ever happened to being genuine?
What ever happened to being broken?
Now, I’m not saying that I think it’s cool to be broken, hurt, offended, etc. But I wonder what would happen if more and more of us embraced our own brokenness. Because the reality that we can’t escape is that we all have cracks—a few or a million, we all have them. I think a lot of people come into a church and automatically feel like they have to cover up their scars so they can blend in with the crowd. Like maybe even that’s the only way they’ll make any friends. I think in the name of being good Christians we have mistakenly hidden our weaknesses and our vulnerabilities and just gone with the flow.
No wonder so many people feel alone. If we’re not real with each other, there is no true connection. We feign to have common ground but we fail to get to the root of the matters of our hearts. We get caught up in hype but then only later realize we are still broken. Even with all the passion and truth we’ve been chasing, we didn’t give our hearts room to breathe, to be seen, to be healed.
I think broken people are beautiful. I see more beauty in openness and vulnerability that in flashy worship sets or power-packed programs. The masks become too much after a while. They confuse me, make me want to withdraw when all I want are people who are the same as me—a little broken here and there and willing to talk about it. Willing to discover truth and freedom together as we let the light shine through our cracks.
It’s the only way the world will know the true Jesus.
Embracing our brokenness as followers of Christ I believe will be an invitation to other lost souls, not a deterrent. We all want something real, whether we’re willing to admit it or not. So, will you join me, gather around the crackling flames that warm our hearts and offer a safe place, and open up your scars with me, share your joys? The real you—not what you think you’re supposed to be, but just you. Who knows—maybe along the way you’ll discover something new. Maybe you’ll see who you really were all along.
Maybe when you let down your mask, you’ll know something more beautiful than all your searching thus far has offered you.