This past weekend, our tiny little town had its annual bit of carnival-esque insanity. While I’m tempted to write on some of the more ridiculous aspects of it, I’ll abstain. And let me tell you, that’s not easy to do.
No, instead, I’ve been thinking about clowns. Yes, clowns. The makeup wearing, big shoe stomping, flower squirting, horn-honking clowns. Clowns are integral to every parade and carnival. They are, in effect, the thread that holds the whole thing together, bringing comic relief to us when the endless stream of pageant queens in convertibles threaten to exhaust us.
How many do you know? Are you one? Am I?
Do you paint on a smile for everyone, while underneath you’re crying? Do you play the fool so as not to have to deal with anything of weight in your life? Do you hide behind a virtual costume, always keeping people at arms length with jokes, gimmicks, and disguises?
Are we any different than Adam and Eve trying to use fig leaves to fool God? Are we fooling anyone other than ourselves?
I think this is a real problem in the church today. I think true authenticity and honesty must begin with the removal of the makeup, stripping it down to the reality of who we are in Christ, and just how far we are from being where we should be.
Let’s send out the clowns, and send in the real, hurting, grace-hungry people.