Sunday, September 11, 2005
The Phantom of the Opera
“Oh to be clean…” a quote from John Frye’s blog entry “seeing Jesus through a lepers’ eyes.” I think sometimes I take it for granted, forgetting how dirty I really am and in doing so taking for granted what it is to be clean.
Tonight I watched “The Phantom of the opera.” If you haven’t seen the movie or the play you should. Watching the movie as the analyst that I am, there was one line that Christine said to the phantom that pierced strait to my heart. The phantom was going on explaining how uncompassionate the world had been to him because of his distorted face. For Him everyone else was at fault and owed him something because they couldn’t deal with his ugly face. Christine, our star, sang to him “the distortion is in your soul.”
A lot of time things are only skin deep for us. We see that we’re ok because we don’t do bad things and everything we do is justified. We see our problems being simply what we do or don’t do. Everyone else is so evil and we’re so good. We wear a mask to cover up the real distortion in us, the real dirty places in our lives. Doing bad things is only the symptom of a much deeper distortion. It’s when we see that the problem is in our soul that we realize how dirty we really are.
It’s easy for many of us to think that we’ve arrived, we’ve been cleaned up and we’re ok now. Our need for Jesus is replaced, in our agendas, by His “need” for us. We begin to think that the world revolves around us. God wants to use us, God needs us. So we “witness” and we throw the bible at people because if we don’t they’ll go to hell.
When we reveal or allow Him to reveal our souls, the dirty, grimy, scarred, hideous places we realize how incredibly much we need Him. So He heals us cleans us and we understand how beautiful it is to be clean… “oh to be clean.” What if our actions, instead of deriving from His need for us, came from an understanding of how hard it is to be dirty and how amazing it is to be clean? What if we remembered how much we need Him?
Those who know pain respond to it, those who’ve been ill heal, those who’ve been lost find. We declare the kingdom of God because we do not undervalue what it is to really be dirty and long to be clean.
Allow God to peel away the mask. Our God seeks the lost and the distorted. Nothing we’ve done can exhaust or exclude us from the love of God. Why are we so afraid?