Draw Back The Curtains
Real was a word I ran from for many years. I was trained, early on, to hide behind the curtain. Polish the outside, glisten, shine, but don't ever draw back that curtain...
If you've ever suffered great pain in silence, you will understand the burden of it. You might as well be on an island alone because that is exactly what it feels like. You don't just wonder, you know that when people look at you, they only see the curtain. The beautiful, perfected, lovely to look at curtain of flesh you have drawn tight over your soul. The desire to rip the curtain away, to reveal the truth is always there, but so is the fear. Fear that when other's see what is behind that curtain, they will turn in disgust.
So, the curtain stays drawn.
God began whispering to me years back to let him draw back the curtain. I shook my head at first, pulling those curtains closed tight, in case he tried. I was angry at him, not trusting of the world and so, I refused. I told him to go away, to let me stay hidden.
He sent other's though.
He sent people into my life that had drawn back their own curtains, were living exposed and vulnerable. He sent people who willingly spoke the same words he had been whispering in my ear for so long.
Draw back the curtain...
This is Jesus. He sees first the soul behind the curtain. He is not distracted by the polished, eloquent, beauty of the outside. He knows what festers inside, what sits in the corner of the soul, swollen from infection. When he says "Come to me," it is like liquid medicine for the sick and wounded soul.
Oh, I am grateful. I am grateful that he sent people to me to tell me these things, people like him. The process was long, ugly, painful. I didn't step out from behind that curtain right away. I peeked out first, looking for the judgement. I was certain when God smelled the putrid scent of my infected soul he would turn away.
He kept his hand extended, the invitation ever present. "Come." he constantly whispered. I took his hand, finally, but only when I was certain I could run into the safety of his grace, and let the curtain fall away.
Grace is a shield for the weak.
Grace was the discovery that changed my life. I found his grace to be a blanket, bringing warmth to my cold, dark soul. The more I revealed, the more grace I discovered.
Safety is what we desperately crave, each of us. We hide behind our curtains because we are afraid. I didn't step out from behind mine because I was brave and ready to fight. I came out because I finally believed that I would be safe in God's grace, that he would fight for me.
The world needs us to tell them our God is safe.
I am reminded of that, this week, as I see the world mourning the loss of a funny, gifted soul. The world needs to know that Jesus has gone behind the curtain and with his bloodied, wounded palms, has ripped the keys of living and dying from the clutches of darkness. He has allowed the sent of decay and death to fill his nostrils. He has allowed the sight of gruesome, rotting souls to fill his vision. He has seen these things and he has not turned away.
The world needs to know that he does not turn away.
Instead, he says, "Come." He understands our need for escape, our need to get out from under the weight of this world. He understands our desperation and he says...
I was looking for a way out one time, too. I thought my way out was earning my worth, performing at the cue of others. I thought my way out would come by following all the rules. I was suffocating behind that curtain and doing the only thing I knew to do...
Today, Jesus stands at the curtain of our souls, and he extends a scarred hand that has gripped the very power of death and he offers us escape. There is nothing behind your curtain he cannot grip in those hands. There is nothing festering in your soul that he cannot, with a touch, bring life into again. We must come out from behind the curtains, be the example to others of what Jesus can do.We must extend our hands, like Jesus, and say, "Come." We can prove with our own exposure that Jesus is safe, that God is not mocking. We can prove that Jesus is our way of escape just by keeping those curtains drawn back and our soul exposed to the light.
Tell them, friends. Tell those around you, show those around you, be the safe place that Jesus is, so that they will finally believe that he is our way out of this mess. The world needs to know that he is our way out..
He is our escape.
"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28