Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Let The Light Shine Through



"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"

From "Stained Glass Masquerade"
by Casting Crowns

It never ceases to amaze me the way each time I open up with someone about something in my life that I normally keep private, the person I shared it with will often make a similarly surprising revelation.  In those too often infrequent exchanges we learn who the real person is beneath the protective veneer that so many of us hide behind.  One wonders if everyone is playing a part, how do we ever really get to know each other?  How can one love anything more than the surface person they're able to see?  Even more so, how can one feel loved when people aren't loving them but a veneer that does not reflect the inside.

As children of God, The Almighty loves us just as we are.  After all, he created us and made each of us a unique individual with our own strengths, weaknesses and talents.  For those of us who have a mental illness or love someone who does, we need to remember that God loves us completely and unconditionally! There is nothing to be ashamed of. We may each have our own set of challenges, but with Jesus in our hearts, he can shine through us to others.  The only way to do that is to stop hiding and give God the reins.  He will give us what we need to get where he wants us to be, according to his will. 

My favorite part of being in a support group and small group in church is seeing people open up and let others in.  I feel so much more comfortable when I can see a person's human or vulnerable side;  the one that makes as many mistakes and feels as insecure as I do sometimes.  As the stanza above states, "I will play the part again, so everyone sees me the way I see them."  Where does the roleplaying end?  When someone who cares asks how we are, why not tell the truth?  I have always found that what speaks of my Christianity more than anything, isn't what I say, nor is it hiding behind a mask and appearing to be something I'm not. What speaks to people the most is what I allow people to see, the mistakes, thee problems and the ways Jesus sees me through the really hard times. When people allow me a glimpse of Jesus in them, and the grace by which He does bring them through it reinforces my own faith.  I only hope that I can do that for others.

I have such a long way to go.  I walk in mercy and grace with Jesus in me.  My God is everything good in me and has given me everything good in my life. Looking back, I think that the weird or strange kids were really just willing to drop the veneer. I think I can safely that I am "cracked,” and I hope to always allow the light of Jesus to shine through my many cracks.  I can trust Him, he knows the best way.  

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I am touched and inspired by your truth here. I am thankful that you have found a way to express your struggles and how your relationship with God has been the strength that carries you through. Thank-you for sharing this. Many people need to know that God loves all of us. Sometimes people can feel like they are less of person due to having a mental illness, however, in truth we are all created equal. We all have struggles and obstacles to overcome. That is what can lead us to God in the first place.
If we want to know and be known we must drop the masks and leave the Masquerade and live our lives with truth, hope and love. ;-)

Debra said...

How very true Kimly. And the light shines only through the cracks, like blind slats open for daylight to stream in. I recall a meeting at church where a man I’d never suspected to be the tenderhearted kind opened up and even cried. I was so touched by his honesty and openness that I never thought of him as a snob again. It gave us all more of a sense of community and oneness. Thank you for this reminder to let the light shine though by opening our hearts and being vulnerable.
~ Bless you

Kimly B said...

Elizabeth and Debra thank you. Elizabeth we are all created equal, we are all sinners, and all only have one hope and that is in Jesus. If He can love us the way he does, then we are certainly worthy of love, starting with loving ourselves for who each of us is. Debra, I pray everyday to be transparent and that Jesus shines through. That is a hard one to pray, since that does mean being open and vulnerable, and that will always be frightening. Thanks y'all for your insights and sharing.