**I promise VBS is almost over and we will all go back to lessons from “normal” life. There has just been SO much that God has demonstrated for me this week that I was compelled to share.**
Our theme this week (and you have probably seen it around you as well) has been “Kingdom Rock!” and is all about how God helps us to “Stand Strong!” There is a medieval flair to it so I have been leading all my games with groups named Castles, Crowns and Shields. My area is actually called “Tournament Games.”
Not really thinking about it much on Monday and really just for the sake of building enthusiasm and fun, I put on a horrific British accent and shouted out “Welcome to the Tournament!” That was the beginning of the end. I have been stuck in this voice at top volume for three days.
Yesterday, one of the children in Top Middle’s crew realized that A) I was his mom and B) That this isn’t my real voice. As a matter of fact, I live right down the street from the church and I have the same southern drawl as everyone else leading VBS. I think there are some very disappointed Purple Castles right now. Now the same thing happened to Bottom Middle, but she told me, “I just said, nope. Not her voice. She’s just crazy.” The Green Castles aren’t disappointed at all. They are having a ball trying to catch me using my real voice.
Now when He had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him; and He went in, and reclined at the table. When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But give that which is within as charity and then all things are clean for you.
What happens when our insides don’t match our outsides? Many times we hide sins, hurts, and struggles because we don’t want any one else to know something is wrong. For starters I don’t think we want to admit we are weak in those areas. But I think we are also afraid of disappointing those around us. Stick with me on this next thought. We have an image of what other people think of us and we HOPE it’s positive. I don’t think anyone walks through life hoping others will consider them a lost cause so they don’t have to meet any other standard. With that image of ourselves as we hope others see us in our minds, we find it painfully difficult to be genuine for fear of disappointing them.
My throat hurts. I mean, on fire like I swallowed a whole package of 25 grit sandpaper and washed it down with a cup of nails and vinegar. But last evening I sat here nursing a cup of tea with lemon and honey and refusing to talk to anyone because I want to be able to run out on to that playing field today and shout out my miserably accented welcome. I can’t bear the idea of using my normal voice and disappointing all those kiddos and leaders who have been enjoying my silliness all week.
Faking it is painful and draining. Trying to keep up an image for everyone else that in all honesty they may not even have, is simply exhausting. Who knows the real story? Who do I still have to keep up pretences for? How can I make sure my shame doesn’t leak out?
Why does this feel so lonely?
Do I believe we should bare our souls to everyone? No. There is a circle of trust (don’t drift to that movie, please!) that we can lean into. And if you don’t have one – GET ONE! Those people can help carry us in these moments. For the rest of the world let me give you “The Line.”
“Before you give me credit for being more than what I am, remember I am trying to be a reflection of Someone Else.”
By the same token, I think we have to remember that everyone has something going on “behind the scenes.” So before we allow ourselves to be disappointed when something goes wrong or we learn something negative about someone, we need to remember they too are a reflection in progress. Perhaps our forgiveness or understanding is the glimpse of God that they need to help carry them through.
Today, I will put on my silly voice and do my silly thing. But my heart will be for the service of the King – and that’s the REAL tale!