>> Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Sunday morning … Sunday evening … and again on Wednesday evening, my mother and I sat in a front pew at church and listened to words from people’s mouths; the preacher on Sunday and testimonies from the congregation on Wednesday … including my mother. Wonderful, glorious, hallelujah words attesting to the spotless life being lived by the speaker. I didn’t know about the other people, but I knew my mother’s day-to-day life was not like she pictured it.
By age 15 my future husband had been chosen for me … the preacher’s son. And so began my hard-core training in hypocrisy. Since I was to marry the preacher’s son, I was allowed to go to his house on Saturday evenings. Nervous and wondering how I was supposed to act, I entered their home. It seemed the four of us were to gather in the son’s upstairs bedroom.
The closet door was opened … a television rolled out … plugged in … and we spent the evening sitting on two beds watching shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun – Will Travel. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but on Sunday the sermons were full of “thou shalt nots” and one of those “nots” was watching television. That box was called the devil’s box and the antenna sitting on top of the television was his horn.
My training in hypocrisy was in full swing.
When I attended Sunday dinners at their house, my future mother-in-law did most of the talking. She worked her way down the list of everyone in attendance that morning … sharing her thoughts about their clothes … their children … their mentality. The remarks were ugly. Yet she had smiled as she shook hands with them.
She couldn’t stand them … my mother included.
So I learned to wear a mask … a mask of hypocrisy. Since I was to be a preacher’s wife, I took my training to heart. I was to be one person at church and a different one during the rest of the time. After such powerful training, I had my hypocrisy perfected.
It’s hard to believe I used to live like that. Wearing a mask takes a lot of energy. Being real is such a freeing thing.
Do you wear a mask?
Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.” Matthew 23:27-28 (MSG)