Sometimes I sit and think of what to write. My mind wanders and I realize that, there are times when I write, only to feel the encouragement of my comrades. I write to please the Christian ear. I say things in prayer that seem so empty but receive the most nods and hums of agreement. I proclaim truths that I don’t proclaim in the secret and speak scripture that I have not let seep into the depths of my soul. When I see myself for who I truly am, I see a kiddie pool. I see myself as one who says the right things and pretends to be okay when I am far from it.
One day, this past summer, I found myself deep in prayer. It was in this vulnerable place that I met with the God that looked upon me and said, “Susan I don’t recognize you”. I didn’t really understand. What could that possibly mean? Was it that contrary to scripture, He didn’t know my every thought, my every struggle? By no means! Rather, He did not create the new person I had presented before Him. He had not spent His time in the depths of the earth crafting this facade that I had so arrogantly placed at His feet. I brought Cain’s sacrifice. I always read the story of Cain and Able with casual passivity. That Cain was the bad one, he had cheeped out on God and had gotten jealous of his brother. Able on the other hand, had it all together and gave God his best. Seemed simple enough, until I saw myself as Cain, standing before the Lord with nothing but facade that he glanced right through.
It is an overwhelming realization, when you realize that God is not pleased with this fake person. However, as one very wise Brennan Manning says in Abba’s Child, “Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Jesus then liberates us from alienation and self-condemnation and offers each of us a new possibility.” What a promise! And so while I do realize that this ‘other person’ exists, Prayer is death to every identity that does not come from the creator. He knows what He made. That person that prays for Amens, the one who gives for others to see, the one who boasts in anything that is not Christ; the almighty God whose hand moulded the universe, knows what He created. Facades are only making the journey to an intimate relationship with Jesus all the more dreary.
If I was to give a piece of advice (highly unqualified to do so) I would say, let go. Fixate your eyes on the one that called you first.The one that loved you first. Let go of what sounds good and what gets the most attention, and just be you and God. Honest, raw, and messy. See the thing is, I’m kinda a work in progress. And that’s why Jesus sent himself. YEAH, haha, get this, I’m struggling in WAY more ways than one. But that is the sole reason why Jesus came to this earth. It was because I couldn’t attain that perfection on my own. His sanctification is needed.