Sometimes it’s easy to be invisible. To do work behind the scenes and leave no trace for others to discover your mistakes or imperfections. I was part of a leadership team at a very large church for several years. I successfully hid flaws, fears, sin, and secrets behind a façade of servitude and performance. I think that the most crowded places are the easiest to operate in invisibility… and before I knew it, I had mastered it.
What I once viewed as a superpower, I later discovered was just a poorly fitted mask and cape. When the mask was removed, I couldn’t even recognize the person that was beneath it anymore. Invisibility had a different name, and that name was shame. I looked around and was able to recognize the same mask on the people around me. Once the truth was exposed, all I could feel was this unfulfillable void. So, I searched, attending church after church, hoping to find a community of “real” superheroes.
But I was searching for the unattainable – the perfect community. When I walked into the Village, I didn’t walk into a building full of superheroes. But something in my spirit knew this was where I needed to be. As I spent more time around people who were okay with taking off their masks, I too, felt freedom in doing the same. I realized my spirit wasn’t longing for the perfect community… but the imperfect. The kind that embraces humanness and knows the truth that superhumans don’t exist. A community of people that see you (flaws and all) when you’re invisible and still want fellowship with you. People alongside of you who know the truth – that the Holy Spirit is the only superhero in the room.
As for the “mask” I’ve put on… as much as I’d like to say I’m completely rid of it, it remains in the back of my closest. Some days I choose to walk in the freedom without it. Other days, it’s still a struggle. But slowly I am becoming okay with not wearing it.
I was out of town when the Drumming Circle took place, but I wanted to share how God has used you all in my life this year and continues to! Thank you to everyone who has opened their home, shared their joy and tears, and prayed with me.
Thank you. Your words are a beautiful gift to us as we struggle to be faithful to our values of authenticity and accessibility.
Beautifully written. It is good to see and be seen by you. Love you Nikki
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