A few years back, during the most difficult season of my life, I took a step of faith and tried out for the worship team at the church I was attending.
My thinking was that if I could just keep singing through the pain, that maybe my worship would drown out the enemy’s voice.
After my second callback, the worship leader pulled me aside.
He asked me if something was going on in my life.
My eyes looked sad, he said.
In a moment of vulnerability, I broke down and confessed everything that was going on to him.
I waited for the encouragement to come, but it did not.
Instead, he just looked at me, gave one loud clap, and then beamed, “Had this been a tryout for ‘The Voice,’ then girl you would have just received a 4 chair turn around!”
he went on to explain to me that the worship team was “the face” of the church…
and because of this, he couldn’t accept me onto the team if I couldn’t smile.
He then offered me a smile of his own and a tip that I might find useful; to put Vaseline on my teeth…
To force a smile…
“Nobody wants to see a sad person when they come to church…”
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”- Isaiah 53:3″
I walked away disappointed and sad…and though I knew that Jesus felt the same way as I did about it- It still hurt.
It stung. BAD.
It was disillusioning.
Here’s the thing though-
This world is broken; we are broken…and fake vaseline smiles are not going to heal people or usher in true worship.
I‘m thankful for churches who are raw and transparent, but so many people have ONLY experienced noise, and Vaseline smiles.
Though I’m still working through this myself, my prayer is that anyone who has ever experienced church disillusionment would be reminded that it’s Jesus that makes the Church.
It’s not the flawed people inside of them.
The building is just a building if there is no Jesus.
The worship is just noise if there’s no Truth.
No amount of Vaseline can make that smile real, and because He is especially close to the broken-hearted, don’t even try.
I’d rather listen to someone’s voice crack with truth and tears than listen to a perfectly sung lie.