I’m tired of being Batman. Today I’ll be an owl.


Masks.

They’ve come up a few times in passing these past few days for me.  In quite different applications, actually.  I’ve been really excited to get back to a place where I’m not running from one place to the next like a crazy person so that I have time to blog these thoughts.  I’m back up North now after a whirlwind weekend at home (except not at home since I’m still without a home until August… but I got to get in and get some measurements and take some pictures!!).  I was down for a wedding, and a dear friend of mine had a baby last week, and I needed to meet with my lawyer to sign papers for my house.  Busy, busy, busy!

So the first place the concept of masks came up will not be a stretch at all to see where it came from.  I saw Batman with a great friend of mine on Friday night.  The Dark Knight Rises was fantastically done.   I barely even noticed that it was 2:45 long.  Masks were a theme throughout the movie though.  Clearly.

The next place they came up were during the wedding ceremony yesterday, where the bride’s brother talked about them in his message before vows were exchanged etc.  I don’t totally remember everything he said.  Had I realized I’d later be blogging it, I’d have taken notes.  But the gist was that we need to be real and not chase after ideals and fantasies.  My friends that got married this weekend needed to say “I do” to THIS man and THIS woman, not “the woman I hold on a pedestal in my head” or “the man that I think he can become.”  We need to strip off our masks and be real.  With ourselves.  With those closest to us.  Most of all, with God.  He KNOWS what’s going on.  He knows what we’re really like.  Why hide?

Batman hiding is a bit of a different illustration.  Christian Bale does a fantastic job playing Batman.  That dark edge is precisely what’s necessary to pull Batman off.  But Batman (and Bruce Wayne) fully recognize a need to “wear masks,” in this case much more literal than figurative, in order to protect those closest to him.

As we see Bruce Wayne pretending not to be Batman, I can’t help but wonder if he ever gets tired of putting the mask on and pretending to be someone else.  Having to live a different life.  I don’t know.  I mean, he is a fictional character after all and I refuse to dig too deep into the psyche of a fictitious Super Hero.

This topic always reminds me of “Stained Glass Masquerade” by Casting Crowns.  It makes me wonder why sometimes Church is the place we feel the least secure.  And it pounds at my heart that it shouldn’t be that way.  That’s all I’ve got to say on the matter because I have a lot of questions and very few answers, but here are the lyrics…

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they’ll soon discover
That I don’t belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who’s been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who’s traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/c/casting_crowns/stained_glass_masquerade.html ]
But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small

And here is a link to the music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqO6iJ5Yz60
I’ll try to tie this into one more place today.  I know I’m kind of jumping around, but masks have been a theme in and out of my life since high school.  My youth pastor in grade 10 read us this poem that stuck with me.  I don’t remember the words, obviously, that was 12ish years ago, but the idea was that we walk around with all this pain buried inside us and we’ve got the resources and the remedies all around us to heal us and put us back together, but because we won’t say a word, no one knows, and no one could help even if they desperately wanted to.

A friend of mine a while back let me borrow a copy of a sermon on CD that really impacted her so that I could listen to it.  It’s called “Everybody is extraordinary at something.”  I listened to it on Thursday on my way down South for this mad weekend of speedy visits.  I have to say that the guy preaching is pretty extraordinary at preaching.  It really spoke to me.  I imagine that was the point though.  Why else would I have been given it?  But the application I’m going to tie to this blog post today is that so often we hide behind the things we know we CAN’T do.  I, for example, would be a terrible math teacher.  I always tell my kids “there’s a reason I teach French.”  And there is!  It’s because I’m really good at it!  If you made me teach math all day I’d perpetually feel like a fish out of water and I’d feel pretty useless.  That’s not how anyone likes to feel.  But you know what?  It makes me afraid to go for a classroom of my own, even though I think I’d like one some day.  There’s that buzz word though… afraid.  I shouldn’t be afraid.  Anyway – what I’m trying to get at here is that everyone is fantastic at something.  And we need to encourage those around us to do what it is we’re gifted in.  Like I said, if you made me teach math I’d fail.  Or at least not do it well.  I might be able to handle it if it was the only thing I was doing… but that brings me to where I’ll conclude my little rambly set of thoughts here.  We need to be careful that we’re not overextending ourselves.  The pastor who preached that sermon used this analogy:  Ceasar Milan is really really good at handling difficult dogs.  But if we were to witness to him, and get him into a church, we’d want him to lead worship and teach Sunday School and and and and…. But what if he’s no good at any of that?  If his gift is handling difficult dogs, why couldn’t we let him go into the neighbourhood and preach the Gospel while he teaches people how to handle their dogs?

Anyway… I had a thought recently.  I’m kind of thinking I might blog my way through reading the Bible.  It would force a couple things:  It would force me to a) read it.  And b) really pay attention to what I’m reading so that I could comment on it.  Perhaps I’ll start that when I’m done blogging through One Thousand Gifts.

I got new Bibles!  So it could be an adventure!  I already had the NIV Worship Bible, but The Message and The Way are new, and I’m pretty stoked.

Bibles!

Aaaaand the list.

55. Brave – finally a Disney movie where a man and marriage are not the solution to the Princess’s life problems.

56.  Brilliant, captivating, breathtaking sunsets through dark ominous clouds – a contrast that only God’s paintbrush can fathom.

57. Bright, full moons which light up the whole night; The way the moon reflects on the lake.

58.  A brother who is so understanding of his sister’s quirks that he shot photos of a spectacularly beautiful cloud-filled sunset while I drove us home from the movie so that I could revisit the beauty when I could focus on it.

59.  Delightfully giggly time with good friends … catching up after 4 weeks apart.

60.  The hospitality extended by Mike and Ange.

61.  Excellent business practices and great finds.  I highly recommend anyone anywhere near a Maurice’s clothing store go check it out.  And marvel in their amazing return policy.  Ask them.  I dare you.

62.  Some time to myself.

63.  Long hot showers with no time or water limit.

64.  The way a baby’s hand wraps tightly around your finger.

65.  How we are fearfully and wonderfully made, even in infancy.

66. Friendships so delightfully open and blessed.

67.  Friends with just the right sense of humour that blends so well with mine.

68.  Weddings.

69.  Beautifully crafted, God-centered wedding vows – promises to each other that will last a lifetime.

70.  Tight hugs from fiends who know there’s another month between us.

71.  Thunderstorms.  They’ve been few this summer, but magnificent when they show up.

72.  Inspiring messages – looking for ways to tear off our masks.

 

All photos taken by me.

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2 thoughts on “I’m tired of being Batman. Today I’ll be an owl.

  1. DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!… shouty capitals and all~~~
    brilliant brilliant read my lovely friend~~~~
    and you are most welcome for the hospitality~~anytime!

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