Rain cascaded off the edge of the umbrella forming a stream around her as it soaked the ground. She stood un-moving as she debated stepping out from under the protection. Knowing she would be drenched the moment she did so, she wondered if it was worth it to step out.
Memories of the joy of running and playing in the rain as a little child filled her mind. The times she was unafraid to get a little messy and experience the joy of not worrying what she looked like to others.
When had she become do concerned with looking right to others? With people seeing her as someone who had it all together?
The more she thought about it, the more she realized how tired she was from the work it required. Hiding anything that might be even the slightest bit messy from the world around her took a lot of work. She always had to be paying careful attention, making sure there was no crack for what was underneath to show through for even a brief moment.
Who was she really trying to impress? Was it really worth the energy and the time?
She collapsed the umbrella and let the rain our down on her. Eventually she began to walk, then run, then dance. Laughter echoing with the raindrops hitting the ground.
She'd forgotten the freedom of it until now. Worries about looking right and impressing others vanished from her mind. Cares that had been holding her back released their hold. For those moments she was free to be who she was underneath the masks she usually wore.
I wonder if we're more like this than we really want to admit. Even as I wrote it, I realized how often that struggle is mine.
But, I also know there is freedom that comes with dropping the masks and letting what's underneath be seen. There's freedom in stepping into God's cleansing rain in our lives. In letting it wash away our perfectly manicured and presented selves, to show the broken and the mess we've hidden behind it.
Because when we allow God to wash away the facade we've put up, He can reveal a masterpiece that He has built behind. Out of the broken and the mess of our lives God creates something far more beautiful than our pretend perfection ever was.
Will you step out from under the umbrella? Will you allow the rain to wash away your pretend perfection to reveal God's beautiful work?