I walked into church, a few years back in the middle of opening worship. It was this large metal rafter auditorium. Full of sights and sounds with lights shining in front. Everyone was praising Jesus. Hands in the air. I took a few moments to collect myself. Then started singing. Praising Jesus. Raising my hands. Experiencing God.
But then I just stopped. The music in my head faded away. Not sure why, but I opened my eyes, and I looked up at the stage, and all the lights, and all the young people around me. I just started watching the guy singers, and looked around at all the guys around me. Song after song I starred.
It was an array of sea foam, and pink colored shirts. Stylish hair, and frosted tips. The black square glasses. And tight shirts, and pants. It was like a giant starbucks gathering. And the truth was, I kinda fit some of that description too. The more sensitive understanding kinda guy. The good guy. The guy great at conversations. I was the guy girls liked to hang out with, and talk. I cared about what I looked like, the type of clothes I wore. I didn’t do those other men manly things. Not a man’s man, whatever that really meant. I had never really wanted too either. The whole hunting and fishing. That wasn’t really my thing. And I knew it was definitely not what made you a man. Man beating their chest in the woods. No thanks. I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone.
But I couldn’t sing anymore. All the boyfriend Jesus, Jesus, stuff.
Everything felt girly. The dudes on stage. The type of music. This building. These outfits. I didn’t even know what was happening. I didn’t want to raise my hands anymore. I didn’t want to sing at an octane beyond me. I wanted to check my pants, see if my balls were intact. I wanted to punch the dude next to me. I wanted him to punch me.
They started talking about small groups. And getting together to talk at people’s houses. They were bringing together community. I felt it rise in me. The hope. This was the answer. It could happen here. But I had kinda done that already. And although it sounded perfect, and Christian, and served a good purpose. and the right thing to do, sitting in some room with metal folding chairs, and tables, I just wanted to vomit.
The more they talked, the more this urge came to walk up to the front of these worship guys and mess up their hair, and have them mess up mine. I wanted to slap them around a bit. I wanted to unplug their guitar, and plug in a power tool, and start making music with hammers and drills, though I did not own one myself. Maybe we could borrow one, or rent it from home depot. But we were probably not going to get it from any dude here. There had to be something more than this as men. As far as praising Jesus, and always being happy, and looking cool, and wearing these oufits, and having accountability groups about porn, being these sensitive, and nice guys for God. There had to me more than wearing the newest shirt, understanding our feelings, and having good conversations at Starbucks.
All I knew is that I didn’t feel like a man. I never had. And being here was not helping that.
We sure didn’t look like men, and we definitely weren’t singing like them.
I wanted to make an announcement, “Men. Yes, men. Some of you hiding in those outfits you were told you needed from GQ. Yeah, I got one too. What if we take off these designer shirts, and designer jeans, and these nice guy personalities, and walk down this carpeted aisle, and out of this square air conditioned building, and run outside, strip down naked, and roll around in the mud and scream.”
I didn’t do it, though. I was too nice a guy.