After having gone through hell with my mom a few weeks ago, we started a new conversation about faith. We’ve been talking about how one can look rather faithful on the outside, but lack authentic faith on the inside. With the right amount of legalism combined with the proper measurement of hypocrisy, one can walk and talk and move through daily life with the costume of Christ buttoned and zipped up over the true condition of self. It’s not that the costume is satisfying the inner self. It’s not that the costume is fully believable by those doing life nearby. It’s that the costume wards off just enough human connection to let the costume do its job of masking the person.
Having gone through the hell of seeing my mom hurt, I was moved, in a deep way, by a theme in Emily’s new book Simply Tuesday. She talks about our soul’s need for acceptance and, when we don’t have it, our tendency to build upon ourselves rather than giving God the sacred parts and letting Him build. Emily goes on to write that building upon ourselves lends itself to distraction and satisfaction, but cannot hold together when disaster strikes. And, in my experience, disaster always strikes.
Disaster makes it impossible to hide the condition of fake, or anything else ugly on the inside. Emily uses words like panic, small and hurt to describe the inside when tragedy and trauma enter into your season. I see the person who has hurt my mom and I wonder in my heart, mind and soul if the one who has hurt will pass the human tools being used to a God who builds with the invisible power of the Spirit.
I think about how easy it is to buy into impressions and portrayals while letting your inside stay dormant, or even rot. I think about how hard it is to be authentic, to let yourself be transparent. To let others see you being built instead of letting others see what you want them to see. I’m hoping that in our Tuesday Moments, we’ll continually give away to Him just enough to keep up our souls under construction. Just enough permission and just enough space to grow in us what is worthy, righteous, beautiful and true.