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Let's Stop Pretending

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

Two white theatre masks are laying in a field of red flowers.

Recently the power went out at our house. It seemed that a squirrel had suffered an unfortunate collision with a transformer, leaving a swath of the city without power. Fortunately our emergency generator kicked in and we feasted on light and power while our neighbors’ houses were shrouded in darkness. Then my cell phone rang. It was a friend who lives a few blocks away.

“Do you have any power?” she asked.

“Yes, the generator is on,” I said. Since it was dinnertime, I asked if she would like to come over.

“No, thanks. I think I’ll just stay home and make a salad. I really don’t want to go out because I worked at home all day and haven’t put on any makeup.”

Now, I respect the need for makeup as much as the next woman. When my children ask me why I bother wearing it, I tell them it’s because I don’t like scaring people. But, seriously, wouldn’t it be great to venture out into the world without the need for pretense? I like what Brennan Manning has to say about the fact that none of us need to pretend when we come into the presence of the Lord.

“Whatever our failings may be,” he says, “we need not lower our eyes in the presence of Jesus. . . . Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and the weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. As we glance up, we are astonished to find the eyes of Jesus open with wonder, deep with understanding, and gentle with compassion.”1

Let’s stop thinking we can’t come into God’s presence because we aren’t spiritual enough or good enough or holy enough or passionate enough. Instead, let’s trust him, believing that he welcomes us—the wobbly and the weak-kneed—receiving us with compassion and understanding.

 

1. Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat Up, and Burnt Out (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2000), 28.

 
Originally published September 19, 2017.

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