Tuesday, November 10, 2009

beautifully broken...

The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' (Luke 15:28-30)

In The Phantom of the Opera, there is a scene when the mask that covers the monstrous face of the Phantom is dramatically pulled off and exposes the hideous creature beneath the mask. A heinous, marred face of the man with divine musical talent cowers like a beaten child. Even after seeing the play five times, I always cry every time the mask is removed—and now I’ve figured out why.

Amidst a small group of women on Sunday night, I trusted them to accept me for me; ugly, pockmarked, and decrepit. As uncomfortable as it must have been to watch me remove my mask, I knew it had to be done. The bible study paused as I metaphorically sung like the Phantom my story of jealousy, envy, and conviction. I saw some eyes turn away, shift, or look down; I’m sure it was out of embarrassment for me. But I knew the person beneath the mask and she longed to be exposed.

The girl. I hated her yet wanted to be her all at the same time. I felt like the world was celebrating sin and rewarding folly by fawning over this woman. But my mask hid the Prodigal-Brother-Syndrome and I watched with envious eyes as she was being blessed. What I didn’t realize was she had removed her mask to reveal the ugliness she possessed. In doing so, she invited the world to gaze upon her brokenness and marred past. I was convicted by her humility and honesty upon hearing her story; her ugliness was somehow beautiful up close and I needed to ask for forgiveness.

As I drove home on Sunday night feeling ugly and free and accepted, I knew why I cried when the Phantom removed his mask—he wanted to feel what I felt on Sunday night: beautifully broken and accepted.


Kelly Langner Sauer said...

I have a poem posted on my blog - a friend gave it to me during a time when my life quite literally fell apart.

I think you would love it...

In my locked rooms
how often I have seen You
Standing before me,
and with pierced hands

Reaching to me,
and asking ever gently,
"Why do you weep?
Is it for Me you seek?"

And though I doubted,
And had locked my doors,
Lest that I feared should overwhelm me still,

And opened not unto my very Savior,
Yet still You came, and spoke, and loved,
and transformed me.

- S. Lewis

glo said...

WOW B, the Lord is truly taking you to the surface, beyond the deep of who you know you are. Sometimes we tend to remain in the deep neglecting the surface.
I've realized the surface needs to be dealt with and not be overlooked because it is the face of who we are, and even that cannot be masked even that needs to be exposed and freed.
Unfortunatly in the church I have found alot of women whom tend to portray they are these deep Christ loving Chrisitian (no doubt they love Christ) but in a women's study setting they wont even take the mask off to expose the true surface of whom they are trusting Christ to meet them in there humility and vulnerability.

B, I love the provoking of your blogs and the boldness of your transparency!


Mad love....

Becky said...

"Beautifully broken and accepted"...I know I long for that in my life. I want to be accepted for all parts of me...even the ugly parts! Oh and I have been the "brother" many times before especially within my own family!

Anonymous said...

Beauty is something that we destroy with those mask, I have attend your seminars and I truly can say you are the most stunning human being inside and out but thanks for sharing and for let us realized that it is time to let go on the mask and be free of those fuglys sins that do nothing but destroy your life.. I have to admit I have those sins and this post got to me just in time to realized that jealousy and envy have make my hear hard and my soul ugly that sometimes I looked myself in the mirror and I am so disgusted with myself because I know I have the mask on and the girl beneath that mask is not as beautiful as the girl that is wearing the mask and the fake smile every Sunday at church, when I see other person being blessed it is hard to keep the mask on not to feel left out but I am in a working process and so bless by your post. Thanks I hope I make sense my eyes are watering now.

Laurel said...

Thanks Bianca, for your honesty and transparency.

We have just moved to minster at a small church on an island. We are BLESSED by the transparency of the people of this congregation. They are not hiding their weaknesses, even from us (the new pastor and his wife).

The town we moved from was a town filled with people who kept their masks on tight. No one wanted to admit that they had any weaknesses.

This past summer, or family walked through a crisis. We took off our masks and told our small group about what was happening in our home. But, when we opened up and told them ... they all ran away. They didn't want to look at the ugliness behind the mask. They wanted to pretend that everyone is still beautiful. The people we thought would support us in crisis, walked right out of our lives ... leaving us alone and hurting in our pain.

I pray that others will learn to take off their masks. I hope, also, that once those masks are removed, that we will all know how to love and accept the ugliness that we see.

mama of 13

Jeremy and Mindy said...

Love this Bianca. I will share this post with my friends.

christy said...

I LOVED THIS POST...it's so honest...especially because sometimes its even hard to accept our own "ugliness" i have had those moments too, and thought "what is wrong with me.."

thank you for sharing...

Kayla said...

I love this post because I can totally relate to wearing a mask but desiring someone to see you without it on and love you just the same.
I just had to confess something very ugly to my mom and I was assured, once again, that she really does mean it when she says there is nothing her kids could do that would make her stop loving us. I'm so thankful that God sees us as His beloved, redeemed children and He already knows everything about us :)

WrshpGrl12 said...

Bianca, thank you for your post today! God used it to confirm what happened to me this morning at women's bible study. We broke off into prayer groups of 2 and I confessed a sin to my sister who was praying for me. I felt "ugly" as I named the sin to her while watching her beautiful eyes look at me unconditionally. I know this is His will for us. So thanks for sharing your heart and honesty with us readers. love, anita

Beth said...

This made me well up! Amazing that you're so real and open. Love it.

melissa said...

Mmm....sweetly broken...it's there that Christ meets us...i think because it's the utter point of surrender....and it's when God can begin to truly mold us and shape us to be the vessel he has always envisioned us to be. Last thursday i stood up in front of more than 200 women and shared that i was a prodigal wife...i didn't intended to but my heart was beating so fast and i knew it was the prompting of the holy spirit....and through my tears i was able to share that i truly understood the words, "let the redeemed of the lord, say so...." i wanted to express i felt the hands of redemption in the arms of a husband whose love for me can only come from God. it's hard, so very hard to be truly transparent, to risk not being loved, but it's perhaps the most liberating thing because it is then we realize our security is in Christ and Him alone....Mmmm....thank you for sharing your honest and beautiful sweetly broken soul...it is so very refreshing...

Jessica said...

What always breaks my heart about The Phantom of The Opera is that he wants to be loved, just like we all do, but that he is so scarred (visibly and invisibly) that he doesn't know the right ways to love and to be loved. If only everybody who could see him without the mask and show him the love and acceptance that he craved. I hope that, when people take off their masks in front of me, I don't recoil or turn away, but instead embrace them.

Tracie said...

Awesome, what you did...asking forgiveness and opening up. very real, and love the reference.
Have you ready Prodigal God by Timothy Keller? appreciate your sharing!

Jessica said...

This was beautiful. I thank you for being so honest in writing this. I think a lot of girls, myself included, like to hide the ugly truth from people but a lot of times when doing so we try to hide it from God. Its those things that hurt us to think about, those expierences we don't want to own up to that we have to, and need to, face and let God in to take care of. And just think, how many people go through similar things but because we hide the truth no one knows. thanks for sharing =]

Tish said...

So amazing!!! I love transparency...and I think it is only when we are transparent with others that we can have true fellowship, accountability and love. I have tried to talk to other believing women about certain sins in my heart that I want to repent from, and the response is way too often, "Oh, you are so nice, your heart is loving, don't be so hard on yourself, blah, blah, blah"...I would so much rather have someone say, "Let me help you walk thorugh this, let me help keep you accountable, by the power of the Holy Spirit your heart can be cleansed."

Cool to hear you are intereested in child sponsorhip...would love to hear the story!


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