Monday, February 25, 2008

I believe pt 2 or Happy Plastic People

If you haven't read the last post, please do it now. I'm not sure it will do any good, but I want you to understand how I got here.

That was fun wasn't it. So, I was thinking about what it would look like if everyone at church actually believed in everyone else and it occurred to me that it might not look any different. It would be different, but it may not look it. We all do a pretty good job of acting like we don't hurt or screw up and everyone else acts like they buy the charade. It makes me think of the Casting Crowns song. We're so weird, so hypocritical. We assume that everyone else sucks as bad as we do, but if they ever let their guard down - ever show weakness or pain - ever confess their struggles and reveal their sin we act shocked. Like we can't believe they would screw up like that. We act like they're not just like us.

I often wish I never went to Sunday School. That I never learned church answers or religious rhetoric. I wish I didn't know what you want to hear. I wish I couldn't hide - make you believe I'm like you or like you make me believe you are. I wish I couldn't play the game. That I never learned to deceive. I wish you could see me. I wish I could show you. I can't. I know what I'm supposed to look like. I know what you want to see. It's easier if we maintain the status quo.

Except, its not. We're so good at it that it seems easy - natural, but then we go our own way into our private places and fall apart. The mask is suffocating. The performance exhausting. We put so much into the act that we barely have anything left for ourselves. We make believe in hopes we'll become what we pretend to be. We are shackled to our deception. Trapped in our lies. Afraid of what someone will think. Afraid to be abandoned and alone.

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
-Casting Crowns-

I Believe

It has come to my attention that we don't believe in each other anymore. I was talking to someone the other day about how quickly life was changing for myself and everyone else I knew. I mentioned that I was really happy for one of our friends and commented that they deserved this because they had done everything right. It quickly became obvious that the person I was talking to wasn't comfortable assuming our friend had in fact done everything right. They thought this person probably had, but couldn't be sure. They then began explaining that this person had certain weaknesses that led them to believe that if they had done everything the right way there must be other circumstances that made it easier for them.

This way of thinking absolutely breaks me. I hurts me to know that we have been so jaded by this world that we no longer believe in each other. That we need to assume the worst and explain away the best. Our weaknesses do not define us. Our relationship with Jesus defines us. I'm a visual guy. Its (one of) my weakness. If your a friend of mine and a female I've checked you out at least once, you've probably noticed. Sorry. Anyway, here's the thing, it doesn't define who I am or how I relate to people, and if I don't look at porn (big if) its not because my Internet connection is slow or the gas station was out of Playboys. When I choose not to sin its not because sin is less convenient. Sin is always more convenient. When I do the right thing its because I know Jesus. I made a decision - fostered a relationship - adopted a set principles. I do the right thing (when I do it) because its the right thing. I know its the right thing because the Holy Spirit in me says it is.

We can't quit believing in each other. I've made my mistakes. People I love have messed up in ways I never thought possible. I've seen my share of pain and sin and darkness. I haven't given up on you. I will not let the world win that way. I would rather assume the best of you and look like a fool that doubt you and look like a prophet. I believe you are more than your weakness - stronger than your fear. I believe that God lives in and empowers you. There is no evil you can't overcome, no good you can't accomplish. I believe you can. I believe you will. I believe you are all you've been called to be. Not because I am, but because I need you to be. We all need you to be.

Thursday, February 21, 2008