“We hide behind pretty faces which we put on for the benefit of our public. And in time we may even come to forget what we are hiding, and think that our assumed pretty face is what we really look like”–Simon Tugwell
The more I talked to university students I realized that we are, as representatives of the church, messed up when our dogmas and believes stop us to see beyond our very close minded and ignorant mind. When we want to befriend others with the hidden agenda to “bring them to Christ”, but we are not willing to learn from their own stories .We are messed up when I hide in the rob of pretend holiness and I can not practice being real, vulnerable and open pleasing those who have decided to hide behind their own masks. Oh my gosh! this makes me sick and angry, because instead of showing an open door, open mind, open heart spirituality, I am representing a close door, mind and heart religion. Spirituality, I believe, has to be lived in community, but when I can not be real with others,then it becomes an empty search for something,but not God.
A dear friend of mine, who is a minister, was criticized for sharing his life’s stories, because it is not appropriate to be so open about them. If a religious leader can not be open to their parishioners about what God is doing in his/her life, then I ask, What are we doing then? I really do not understand why vulnerability is a threat to some people. I think we are messed up and we do not have any idea what the true Gospel is all about.
Brennan Manning says that our spiritual life begins with accepting God’s wholehearted love for our wounded, broken, surly, frightened, sorry selves. God call us every one to come out of hiding”, So if we need to come out of hiding, then why our personal stories, our realness, our brokenness is uncomfortable to the ones that have been seating on the church’s pews for many years?. Jesus was known as a friend of sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors, but now we are known as hypocrites and of course we are also known by what we are against.
What are we doing then if we can not be ourselves in Christ? Hiding in pretension and blind holiness? Are we letting people control the way we do ministry so we can please their comfort zone?
I am sorry, but I believe I need to be a naked pastor,and more than this, I need to be a naked human being not in the sense of physical nudity, but spiritual, mentally showing who I am and, as my international friend said, having a good heart and mind.
“Pretending we have no wounds is a self-absorbed life. Fear and shame drive me to conceal my wounds, it’s not just others I keep in the dark” –Brennan Manning