Lost in the Phony

The Letter

I have a friend who’s had a rough life. And, he hasn’t been alive that long. Trouble with marriage, he blames it on drinking… I really can’t be his judge because, frankly, I haven’t had that rough of a life.

I grew up in the Church. My grandmother led Sunday School and taught Bible lessons. I knew who Jesus was and which way to walk with my heart since before I could walk with my legs. What do I know about people who have difficulties?

My friend grew up quite differently. His parents were divorced. Though he had money, his sister gave the kids baths and did the laundry. He didn’t get involved in the Church until well after 12 years old. At that point, he had a lot of pressure.

See, Sunday Morning Segregation Hour is about applying an appealing veneer. People like me, who grew up understanding certain things, get showcased as the “roll model”, with little to no instruction on what actually makes for a good, glad life. If my friend put on the fake smile, volunteered for ministry roles, and answered every “How do you do?” with an adamant “I’m on top!” then everything was great, right? And, if he preformed properly, then no one would ever know that his insides were in disrepair. What good did Sunday Morning Segregation Hour really do for him? I mean, he learned the Bible during that time. He got to encounter a few good Bible teachers. But the overall culture probably did so much harm that he might have done better to just learn Bible on SoundCloud or Stitcher.

Recently, he asked me why he made so many mistakes in his life. “You don’t,” I said, “you just like to make yours in front of everyone else.” He chuckled. See, that’s how he is. He’s real. With the trouble of his own choices right in front of him, he’s actually a lot happier now than when he was suffocating his broken self with that plastic veneer.

Hurt people hurt people. The predator always views himself as the victim. And fat people always feel hungry more than anyone even though they need food least of anyone. The secret to getting out of the mess-making is to understand the best kept secret of Sunday Morning Segregation Hour: With Jesus “as your substitute”, there are no injuries, only well-disguised blessings. We only have to forgive and give thanks. It seems crazy and almost too good to be true to people who don’t know it. But, my friend knows it. He understood that part, somehow. It was everyone else in the veneer shop who seemed to miss it.