A few days ago I shared about a landmark day in my family’s life this past weekend — a day when the clouds parted for a moment and we got a glimpse of the eternal. Today, I felt it would be important (also maybe a little funny) to pull back the curtain a little on the humanity that was very much part of the whole experience. If you didn’t read about our special Sunday, I recommend you read “Take Heart” here before you embark on “the rest of the story” so you can adequately appreciate the stark contrast between our perfect God and our messed-up selves.
Saturday night was one of those nights when I went to bed tired, but after sleeping for about an hour I was suddenly wide awake – for the next five hours. During each hour that ticked by I made deals with myself like, “If you don’t wash your hair you can sleep an extra 20 minutes. And if you take a granola bar instead of sitting down for breakfast, you’ve got an extra 15. Let Jackson drive and do your make-up in the car and you’ve got 10 more sleep minutes.” That all sounded like a brilliant trade-off in the dark middle of the night, until the alarm startled me out of the deepest sleep I’d had all night (all 2 hours of it).
I got ready quickly, grabbed some strong tea, a granola bar and my makeup bag, and ran to the car. Now you need to know that I get unbelievably clumsy when I’m tired, so I was dropping everything I touched and spilling tea the whole way to the church. I spent most of the car ride on dark circle cover up detail. Who knew I would end up crying it all off?! And though Jackson drove as smoothly as he could, somehow as we pulled into the church parking lot my mascara wand hit my contact lens and made a thick blob that temporarily rendered me legally blind in my right eye. I dabbed the contact with each of my fingers until I could see (mostly), but then I had little round mini-globs of mascara on every one of my fingers.
The rest of the morning went just like that. Four minutes before service started, the pack for my in-ear monitors… wait for it… fell into the toilet! Our tech team angels (they really are angels) produced another one miraculously and did it with a gracious smile. In one minute and 45 seconds I reset all the levels blindly without having a clue what I was going to hear in my ears when the music started. Can we have a moment of silence for the former pack and its watery death? *** Amen.
After the first service, I saw my husband briefly and his first words were, “I heard your pack fell in the toilet!” Apparently news travels fast. Then he immediately noticed I had spilled something on my light beige sweater. When I saw the crusted substance, I knew right away it was queso sauce from our Mexican dinner the night before. So the spill on the front of my sweater had been there all day and had probably been magnified by 100 times on the overhead screen.
When my humanity is blaring like it was on this morning, that’s when my shoulder people like to stop by and remind me of all the reasons why I am the worst. (I talk about the shoulder people in this previous post.) They love to start with how I don’t have my act together. Then they move to the whole subject of how I don’t have the caliber of voice to be singing about Jesus in public. Sometimes they fully convince me that secret meetings have likely taken place trying to get me removed from the vocal team but no one knows how to tell me!
This, my friends, is the work of the enemy. He would love to turn mascara blobs, queso and toilet water into personal and spiritual defeat. And it wasn’t just me he was trying to mess with.
One seemingly confident and adored man among us this weekend caught a glimpse of himself on the screens during a run-through and froze, staring at the screen. He was devastated by signs of aging he saw staring back at him. No one else would’ve thought a thing about that. And this is a person you wouldn’t expect to have insecurities. But guess what. He is human too.
My husband – you know, the ridiculously handsome guy in the baptism tank who baptized changed life after changed life on Sunday – was riddled with anxiety on Monday (as he often is).
Worshipping alongside my son, while it was pretty dang sweet that day, came after thousands of prayers and nearly 2 decades of doing the hard work of parenting that didn’t feel all that precious at times.
Our speaker on Sunday is my dear friend, and she called crying just a couple days after she had given the powerful message about how much God loves us – mess and all. She had been awake since 2:00 a.m. completely overwhelmed by insecurities and hurts from the past that momentarily hijacked the beautiful, strong person I know she is.
Just know that whenever God is moving, the Enemy of our souls will try to undermine, and lie, and rob our joy. This is why we need a healthy body of believers around us. We need to uphold each other in prayer and remind each other that our enemy just can’t stand knowing that Jesus won the day. So he preys on our humanity and even our very identity.
Mother Teresa didn’t know anyone who needed God’s help and grace more than she did. So obviously she hadn’t met me. Days like Sunday are reminders that God uses very human people to do His work. What choice does He have? He does powerful things through people who experience fear, insecurity, sleepless nights… He even uses goofballs with shoulder people that lose stuff in the toilet ALL THE TIME, proving once again that He can do ANYTHING.
In spite of all the humanity sloshing around in our church on Sunday, Jesus still won the day! We can stake our lives on that.