Thursday, December 2, 2010

We're Just a Bunch of Freaks

Sunday afternoon, I was home by myself. I had eight or so hours to myself, and I spent that all my time watching TV. Please don't think I'm lazy; my family had spent every day this past week except Thanksgiving day remodeling our youth room. It's exhausting, disgusting work since no one has cleaned the youth room in three years, and haven't done anything to fix the place up in five or six years. So while my lunatic family went down Sunday to work (yes, they worked seven of eight days), I opted to stay home, work on schoolwork, and watch TV.

One of the movies I watched was the last part of the latest installment in the Bring It On series. I have long mocked that movie series for being stupid cheerleader movies. But a new girl at church often quotes these movies, and just so I could understand what she meant when quoting them, I decided to watch one. Certain parts made me regret it, but one scene stood out to me. For those who haven't seen this movie, two arch-rival cheer squads have to combine in order to compete in the championship cheer competitions. These male and female cheer squads hate each other, but combine simply out of desire to win. They try to mix and work together, but the chemistry isn't there and they are about to give up. But then, the cheer captain for one the squads, a firey girl with outstanding leadership qualities, whose name was Carson, confessed she was afraid to compete. It was her idea to combine the two squads, and most looked to her as the leader and bravest one there. But she was afraid? Yeah, she was. Then someone else stood up and confessed something huge. Then another. And another. And another. Because of some awkward things that were confessed, one girl commented, "Man, we're just a bunch of freaks." Carson, however, viewed things differently. She said that they were all actually alike. They weren't really that different from each other. As this dawned on the large group of cheerleaders, they decided to win the championship with each other, no matter how much they disliked each other. In the end, they won, and they all became best friends. Typical movie ending.

So this left me thinking, I wish the church was like this. No, not that I want the church to be a bunch of foul-mouthed, scantily-clad cheerleaders. But I wish we could all confess things to each other. In the movie, once everyone's cat was out of the bag, they could get to know each other for who they really were and appreciate each person in a way they couldn't before. In all my time at church, nothing like this has ever happened. There have been smaller cases, where we went around the room and all shared some sin with each other, but nothing reputation-shattering or absolutely outstanding. What happened if we all did that, though? Yeah, we'd all be a bunch of freaks. So what? What if in youth this Sunday, something like the scene in the movie happened? What if you found out someone in your youth was once raped, or once stole a car, or is addicted to masturbation, or has been drunk before?  I'm sure it'd be awkward to know this. I picture myself sitting awkwardly, staring at the floor. What would we do? How could we respond?

I think this is what it means to be real. To be open. If we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and confess ourselves to our friends and youth groups, hopefully we wouldn't be dubbed "freaks", but instead people could know us better. The mask would be ripped off, and we could be us for the first time.

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