S.W.A.P. Expressions

Thursday, July 31, 2014


My Church hat is super fly
It's big and draws every eye to my wealth and style
It's got flowers and ribbons to hang on the sides
And it's tall, so high that no one can see around me
It's full of colors, and matches my outfit exactly so that I can represent my lifestyle
My church hat shines so bright, oh how it sparkles!
But most importantly, it hides me so I can put on model Christianity every Sunday.

The size of my hat hides the front of the church from everyone in my path
And simultaneously hides me from my brothers and sisters
The flowers are as fake as my smile, stuck to a structure that firmly attaches me to a deliberate Christianity
The ribbons tie me down to my mistrust and doubt of others,
And bind me in the low self esteem I have in my own abilities
The height of my hat simply increases my distance from God,
because I was so concerned with my lifestyle that I ignored the vain, sinful style of my life
The sparkles outshine the gospel, filling it's power to save with our worldly attitudes
And it covers my head with an artificial veil of piety and importance so I can continue to look down on everyone else, and forget to look up to the only One who deserves that high place

My hat helps me forget to adorn myself in God's grace, mercy and ultimate forgiveness
It teaches me to make up a lie with my make up,
drawing on eyebrows of judgement, brushing on a blush of innocence and caking on a foundation of fakeness.
It cloaks my Christianity with false pretense and haughtiness
Declaring to the world that I am simply a product of this world,
not a child of the King.

So I had to hang it up.
To my surprise, there were many others
Collecting dust in a closet full of flashy suits and crooked skeletons
I pushed through to find room for mine and then took a moment to look around.
The room was full of unspoken pasts, hurts and pains
Crowding the space till I almost couldn't breathe
Secrets closing sacred walls in and preventing trust, honesty and closure from opening up the doors and letting that darkness escape
So I searched for the closest window
And just began throwing things out,
Starting with my hat.
Every thing I reached for became less and less of a weight cementing me to
the floor
Until I could raise my hands in total praise for His forgiveness,
His freedom
His undying and unconditional love for me - despite all those things I had been too stubborn to release.

Hang up whatever is covering your soul
That article hiding you from your sister
And live in imperfect peace,
Knowing that I see you for the REAL you
And LOVE you because of that fact.

~Jessica Tolliver

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