Why do we hide? It’s a terrifying thing to be fully known, to be vulnerable. It costs something of us. We crave intimacy, we want to be known…but only to a point. We believe people won’t love us or embrace us if they know us fully, so we walk through lives as fugitives, pretending to be socially acceptable yet hoping nobody finds us out.
For ages, this dysfunctional way of living permeates our culture and it permeates the church:
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:15-24 (ESV)
There are many places we go to hide. Some of us find safety in being a recluse that disengages from the world around us. Some seek to limit and control what is known about themselves through social media. Others hide behind their strengths. In the case of the woman at the well, it would appear that she is hiding behind theology.
Notice what happens – Jesus puts His finger on a deep place of shame, and the woman attempts to hide by talking about a dispute on worship. Rather than entering into the debate, Jesus makes a statement about worship that goes beyond her question and to the very heart of what she’s trying to avoid. He does the same to us as well.
Having been in worship ministry for nearly half my life, I have to say that it’s easier to talk about my opinions regarding the form of worship then it is to talk about the condition of my heart before the Lord. I can talk all day long about the lack of creative originality on Christian radio more readily then I can confess the arrogant pride that would motivate me to have such a conversation.
True fellowship and real worship requires intimacy. When we keep things hidden and on the surface, we only achieve the appearance of spirituality without the transformation that comes from an encounter with the God of the universe. –
What makes you vulnerable?
Where do you go to hide?