Mater (as in Tow Mater) convinced me to take off my church mask

When Caleb and I recently traveled to his basketball tournament, he was watching Cars 2 in the backseat for part of our seven hour drive.

{We don’t typically watch movies in the car because I have found riding time to be valuable in facilitating deep discussions.  Seriously.  I also rarely talk on the phone in the vehicle for this reason.  I think it’s because my boys aren’t looking me in the eyes.  They unfold all sorts of hidden laundry in the car.  Put the media away, folks, and you’ll find yourself blessed.  And informed.  Back to Mater.} 

I am listening to the animated story from the front seat. 

Rusty ol’ Mater has found himself in a situation involving others wanting to clean him up.  He concedes to a paint job but adamantly protests having his dents removed.  Having his dents taken out would mean losing the memories of how he received each disfigured scar. 

And Mater didn’t want to forget. 

Tow Mater

My mind immediately traveled to the lyrics of a song by Point of Grace. 

I used to wish that I could rewrite history
I used to dream that each mistake could be erased
Then I could just pretend
I never knew the me back then

I used to pray that You would take this shame away
Hide all the evidence of who I’ve been

But it’s the memory of
The place You brought me from
That keeps me on my knees
And even though I’m free

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are

The dents.  The scars.  Reminders of the mistakes.  The shame.  The evidence of who I’ve been. 

Reminders of the place God’s brought me from.  The redemption.  The grace.

Might we be willing to remove our church masks? 

The ones hiding our dents. 

The ones giving the appearance of a polished life.

A veiled masquerade.

Can others see Jesus through my religious veneer?

Is there anyone that fails, is there anyone that falls, am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small?

Cause when I take a look around everybody seems so strong. I know they’ll soon discover that I don’t belong.

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.

Are we happy plastic people under shiny plastic steeples with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain?

But if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken maybe then we close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade. (Casting Crowns, Stained Glass Masquerade)

About Cristal

Living life fully as the wife of one, a mother of two and follower of The One.
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24 Responses to Mater (as in Tow Mater) convinced me to take off my church mask

  1. Dicky says:

    I also learned that as Christians we need to be true to ourselves but in a way to glorify God.

  2. Great post! I love that there are good lessons in the “silly” movies our kids watch. What a great way to spark conversation afterward!

    • Cristal says:

      Yes, Carrie. So thankful for some sort of jewel in those shows because, honestly, I’m not much of an animated movie fan. Although, Cars was pleasantly entertaining!

  3. Larry Who says:

    I find it’s pretty hard not to wear my church mask in large groups, but in small groups, I think it’s safer to take it off.

    • Cristal says:

      I feel the same way, Larry. And I don’t believe it’s wrong to only take the bandaid off deep, gnarly wounds in the presence of close company. 😉

  4. Beautiful, thanks for sharing, Cristal. I enjoy that quiet, talk time in the car with my boys too.

  5. Desiray says:

    I know that there are millions of people who come to church on Sundays who wear their mask all because they don’t want to be true to themselves. Mask wearing is something we truly need to get away from. I know from my own experiences I use to do this allot all because I was afraid of what others thought of me or if they would judge me. But one day I decided that I needed to be delivered from people and what I mean is this. When a persons sit in a pew and refuse to go to the altar for deliverance but they fear those who might say something you are a people pleaser and I made up my mind that Sunday many years ago that I don’t care what people might think or say because no matter what I do I can’t please man. My only concern is that I please God and do as He say. See I can come to Him in my weakness and I know He’ll never set and judge me and say well daughter here we are again I thought you would of had this under control by that is not the type of GOD in whom I serve.

    That is why I believe today if people would remove their mask and stop wondering about what others will say they would be set free. It’s a sad thing to go to church every Sunday and still be in bondage…to me that is very sad, and the saddest thing is you and I can’t do nothing about it that person has to make the first step. Only thing we can do is pray that they reach that point in their lives where it’s all GOD or nothing! That is what happen to me…I reached that place it’s was like a show down GOd and me and I had to chose what I wanted most..And what I needed most was JESUS…Did not mean to type so much but my gosh I can get windy on these topics.

    • Cristal says:

      Desiray, you can type as much as you want here! I’m always thankful to read your comments and find myself “energized” after digesting what you have to say. I am glad you found yourself in the position to be set free. That takes a great amount of humility (removal of the “pride” mask, indeed). We should all follow your example!

  6. Pingback: Silencing My Opinion and Shouting Out His Praise | justmyfaithtalking

  7. You are right! We wear these masks because of the fear of rejection, embarrassment, and stigmatization, but like you said we fail to realize that those scars reveal the beauty and glory of God’s work in our lives.
    On the other hand I hope some Christians weren’t so critical and judgmental… That they were a little bit more caring, compassionate and mature in handling people’s weaknesses… That could help some people take down their ‘church masks’
    Great Post!

    • Cristal says:

      I agree, Walter. We need more maturity amongst the people to aid in the unmasking. It’d make it much easier to reveal the scars if we knew we’d not be wounded again. I am glad you stopped by. Your comment is most appreciated!

  8. Vince Chough says:

    Yes Cristal… be authentic, be true, be free. We are Christians because He loves us, not because we are “good” people.

  9. Love the post. Yes, I also found car time with sons very valuable. Sometimes it’s easier to share staring out the window:)

    • Cristal says:

      Yes, Brooke, much easier to share staring out the window. And that’s why I treasure that time alone with my boys in the car. We sometimes sing; but often I don’t even play the radio just in case there’s an opportunity to talk. Thank you for dropping by! I always love to read your comments. (And, of course, I greatly enjoy reading your own blog!)

  10. irishsignora says:

    We sing in our van 🙂 You’re going to think I’m crazy, but what you described is the reason I stopped wearing makeup and dyeing my hair. I love my lines, wrinkles, and greys; they’re my tokens from the Lord of a life vividly lived; like Mater, I’d rather have my memories and my love than be pretty!

    Of course, now I really want to see that movie. Peace be with you! — Kelly

    • Cristal says:

      Hi, Kelly! I am so thankful for your insightful comment and transparency (literally). 😉

      I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I believe you are secure with your identity in Christ and who you are in Him. I recently read of a woman who took the 30-day no makeup challenge. It was a time of unmasking, for certain, in her life. We, as women, do often hide behind hair colors, blush and bling. I’m not saying it’s wrong to wear those things. And certainly not asking anyone to borrow convictions. But, if we’re masking some scars, maybe we should consider living life vividly as you described! (Oh, and I’m sure you are very pretty because it’s not what we wear that determines our beauty!)

      Have a blessed day, my friend.

  11. Judy says:

    A life of dents and dings is so much more interesting than a fussy polished life, don’t you think? Having said that, I still do my best to polish myself up and to hide the dents. I’m learning, slowly but surely, that it’s the dings and dents that end up polishing my character. Thanks for a great post.

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