the weblog of Alan Knox

Stained Glass Masquerade

Posted by on Jan 28, 2011 in blog links, community, fellowship | 6 comments

Stained Glass Masquerade

Have you heard the Casting Crowns song “Stained Glass Masquerade”? Here are some of the lyrics:

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they’ll soon discover
That I don’t belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain

Arthur from “The Voice of One Crying Out in Suburbia” reminded me of this song with his post “Hiding behind our suits and smiles and status updates.” Arthur concludes his post with this:

The way we do church, gathering on schedule for an hour to “worship” leads to people hiding their hurting behind smiling faces and their Sunday best. We are rarely honest with each other because we spend so little time together. We need to get out of the pew and get into the lives and homes and families of other believers. We need to see what is going on behind the smiles because no one I have ever met really has it as together as they seem “in church”. Brothers sharing over a cup of coffee, mothers sharing during a playdate, families spending time with other families. That is fellowship and community. Almost anyone can fake it for an hour and look happy. Those who can’t won’t come because they feel out of place. We need to shed the artificial world of church and get the church out of the building so we can see one another at our worst, not just at our best.

Have you and the people you meet with been able to shed the artificial “stained glass” world that Arthur is writing about? If so, there are hurting people who need to know how you did it. And, there are people out there who have never experienced this kind of openness that need to hear your example.

How did you and those in your fellowship move past artificiality into the messy realm of reality?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-28-2011

    I really liked Casting Crowns. I say “liked” because their most recent album seemed to abandon the messy realism you speak of and moved back toward the churchy 7-11 songs (7 words sung 11 times).

    But I still love some of their earlier albums, including the song that you quote above.

    I know that doesn’t answer your question…but I thought I would comment anyway…. Have a great weekend!

  2. 1-29-2011

    By becoming and seeing one another as stained glass rather than hiding behind it. By stained glass I mean, transparent like glass and stained with sin, suffering and imperfection yet beautiful as the light shines through us.

  3. 1-29-2011


    I haven’t heard their latest CD/album/whatever. I also liked alot of their earlier songs.


    I like the post that you wrote in response. Thanks!


  4. 1-30-2011

    wow awesome song.

    and yes! we are working on finding people to get into the messy real and out of the plastic

  5. 1-30-2011


    How true. I think the world is desperate for transparency and honesty from God’s people.


  6. 1-30-2011

    Randi and Mark,

    Thanks for the comments. I don’t think most Christians understand how important honesty and transparency is to community and to our life in Christ.