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?