I Don’t Have To Hide Behind A Lie

There I was
At church this morning.
Sitting in another place
That I had never sat before.
Which is something
That I’m trying to do
Every time I go
To church.

There I was
At church this morning.
Surrounded once again
By people that
I’d never met.
Telling myself once again,
“Breathe, silly.
Just breathe
In and out.”

And as I sat there
The service moved along.
And I found myself wondering
If it was time
For me to just move on.

Now I can understand
That people would be confused
By my asking that question.
Because they’d wonder
Why I’d come in
For 3 months.
And then just vanished.
As if I never was.

There was a reason
That I thought so much
About leaving
As I sat there
In church
This morning.

And it had nothing at all
To do
With the people of the church.
Or the pastor.
Or the service.
It had everything
To do with me.

Because today,
As everyone prayed
When the service started,
And we sang
That first song.
My heart spoke to me.
And told me
What I’ve known
All along.

I can’t lie.
I can’t pretend to be
Someone that I’m not.
I can’t build an image
For everyone to see
So that they can be spared
Having to deal
With the real me.

I did that once before.
For so very long.
And in the end
I wound up
Isolated.
And alone.
With everybody gone.
Staring at the end
Of the job I’d had
For so very long.

All because
I’d lived a lie
For so very long.
All because I’d been
What the people I’d worked with
Wanted me to be.

And doing that
Had damn near killed me.

And there I was,
In church this morning,
Realizing
That I’d started down that path
Yet again.
That I’d decided to
Become what everyone there
Wanted me to be.
So that they wouldn’t
Have to deal
With the real me.

And as the pastor prayed
On this Sunday morning,
I prayed too.
Because I found
I didn’t want to leave.
I wanted very much
To stay there
In church.

And make that place
A part of the life
That I live.

The church always sings a song
They call the “Meet God’s People” song.
Or something like that.
And yes
The words change
Week to week.

And always
In the middle of that song
They stop singing
And then they greet each other
In God’s name.

And because of where I sat
On this Sunday morning
I had to shake a lot of hands.
More than I ever have
On any other Sunday
I’ve been there.
And you know,
That scared the dickens
Out of me.

It’s just not something
I’d do
If I was left
On my own.

After that greeting song,
When we all sat down,
The service continued
To move right along.
Until we got
To the special song
Sung by one of the ladies
Of the church.

I’ve heard her sing
Three times now
In the past 3 months.
And the song she sang today
Stripped away my pride.
And showed to me
That my heart still aches,
And my soul still cries tears
Of pain.

And she sang a song of prayer.
How prayer is always answered.
How prayer is always heard.
How the answer may not always be
What we expect,
Or what we want.
How sometimes
God answers us
With a better, “Yes.”
Than we could have dreamed of.

And as she sang that song
I realized
That no one in the church
Was there to hurt me.
That any fear I had
Of anyone that I could see
In the church this morning
Was meaningless.

How could I be afraid
Of people I had never met?
Of people that I do not know?
Of people
That always welcome me
Into their church?
Into their home?

And as I realized
That I had no reason
To be afraid.
I realized too
That I couldn’t lie.
Not to them.
That would not be right.

So as the service
Moved along
And she sang
That pretty song
About how God
Always hears our prayers.

For the first time
I realized
Why God had brought me there.
What he wants me to learn
With the people
Of the church.

I don’t need to hide behind
A facade.
A lie.

I need to find a way
For me to be myself.
So that the people
Of the church
Will know who I really am.

And I need to do this
In a way
That I’ve never tried before.
I need to do this
With out being
Disturbing,
Or disruptive,
Or upsetting.
To anybody there.

And somehow I just know
That in the church
That I’ve been going to.
God will teach me
What I need to learn
So that I don’t have
To hide behind
A lie
Once more.

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