I have started a new book entitled “Veneer’ with a subtitle “living deeply in a surface society.” There is a quote from Jon Foreman of the music group “Switchfoot” that I would like to quote, because it expresses a lot of the sentiments of this blog site. “There is a deeper portion of our being that we rarely allow others to see. Call it a soul maybe; this is the place that holds the most value. All else can drift but this. When this dies our body has no meaning. We handle this portion of our being with extreme care. Life tears at us and scars us as children, so we adopt facades and masks to hide this part of us, to keep this sacred part of ourselves from the pain. And yet, we long to communicate this deeper place….to connect with each other on this spiritual level, for we know that this is the only part of us that will last.”
As I write this quote I think of the words of Jesus in Matt. 16: 26, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul.” How much attention do we as men give to our souls. Could it be that as the above quote mentions, we have been so careful to avoid the pain in our souls that we live with facades and masks rather then from the strength that can be accessed in our souls. Remember the very presence of God dwells deep within, at the center; in the soul. Paul prayed for strength to be found at the center. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in you hearts through faith. (Eph 3:16-17).
There is a part of us that desires deep connection. This is the cry of our soul. We as men have a hard time coming to peace with the life of our soul. We remain silent. The Psalmist spoke often about being silent and the harm that it does to our inner life. For example, “So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me, while I mediated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue” (Ps 39:2-3). I take this to mean that the Psalmist finally had had enough of remaining silent with the termoil in his soul. He finally spoke it out having become tired of playing the religious game of being “a niece, spiritual man.”
I have found that when I am honest about my inner termoil and get it out before the Lord and another trust friend, there is relief. One simple awareness for me has been to finally understand that God knows all that is going on within my soul and even the reasons for the termoil. My job is to access that termoil and get it out. I need to take responsibility for the part of the termoil that I have created. The continuing surprise for me, is that I meet God in the termoil. In that encounter I experience His love and acceptance of me. This would never happen is I tried hard to keep the lid on. Men it is true, God loves us in our stink.”