Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Plastic People

"Stained Glass Masquerade"

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

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

I have been working on the above song because I will be singing it with another worship team member on Sunday and it has really hit me in the heart. I had never heard it before, but the words speak directly into where I have lived.

I grew up in church. I attended every Sunday morning, evening, Wednesday nights and when I was a teen I even was there on Tuesdays for drama and dance. My parents moved from Oklahoma when they were married and being so far from family, we grew up with a "church" family instead. As much as that should have made me comfortable to share my heart with everyone there, it didn't. I became very accustomed to saying I was "fine" and pasting on a smile. It didn't matter if my best friend had hurt me that week, my boyfriend broke my heart or that my family was going through hell at the time. I was even so convincing during my high school years that I became youth group president even though I was partying and drinking and so on. I was so afraid to let someone know that I was not a perfect Christian that I instead turned to outside sources to numb the pain. It wasn't until a youth group retreat during my junior year in high school that I finally gave up on trying to hide my suffering and turned things around.

Many years have gone by, but I still struggle with showing my true self to other Christians. I don't want to look ugly. I don't want others to see that I struggle with issues and that I am not all "sunshine".
This song really spoke to me because I'm not sure how we can change the church, but I do know that we can start with ourselves. We can begin by not always being "fine", but really opening up to those who are willing listen. I don't mean spill your guts on the greeter, I just mean not to hold back from those at our church that we know care. Take off our "plastic smiles" and be real.


At 9:16 PM, Blogger Kristen M. said...

That picture is disturbing.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Kimmy said...

I know. lol I had a hard time finding a smiling "plastic" face.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that! I think a lot of us feel exactly the same way and can absolutely relate. Most of us have assumed everyone else will judge when most good Christians have open hearts and everyone has sinned or fallen and will again. Keep giving the good and you will get it all back and more! Peace and love-Stephanie

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is one is my favorite songs!
and your comments are right on target.
i just had a conversation with a friend who is going thru some medical issues right now, who, when my mother asked her how she was doing, she said "great!". i gave her the eye because i knew that was the wrong answer and we then were able to talk about it being ok to be real and transparent with the people who know and care about us.
it's definitely an on-going process...being willing and able to be real and yet not just dumping your life onto everyperson that happens to speak to you.

p.s. i agree with kristen...that picture is disturbing.


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