I’ve been thinking about how some people put on facades, and they do such a good job of it they blind even themselves to the truth. The truth, in this particular case, being that there is absolutely nothing underneath.
I was cleaning the tub before I took the kids to the Memorial Day service, and the overflow cover broke off. In case you don’t usually clean a tub with an overflow, let me explain…this is not suppose to happen.
I went to Home Depot when I took Farmer Boy to work and then came home to fix the problem. I thought it looked pretty straight forward, only it wasn’t. See, the screws that hold the plate in were sheared off. From the looks of things, it happened years ago. In short, the overflow had never been properly fixed. This is meaningful once you know that it has been replaced at least twice since we moved in.
A friend loaned me a drill and screw removal set to try.
That didn’t work. So I did more research and thought I might replace the whole pipe since the screws were sheared. That didn’t work, mainly because there was no way to get my body inside the wall and turn the wrench where I needed to.
I can assure you that by now I was in tears. I cannot afford a plumber. I have to bathe the kids. I prayed….A. LOT. I took breaks. I looked at the pipe more closely and realized that the end of it was actually not pipe at all but a shriveled up old gasket. I had a gasket, it comes with the pipe set. I pulled that out, replaced it. Screwed in the plate and had Mr. Great-heart get into the bath.
It worked fine for showering though because I had the plate on the correct way. (The old one was installed upside down…don’t even ask, coz I’m not.) I thought I found a solution, but Home Depot didn’t carry the part I was looking for.
The guy in plumbing suggested silicone so I went down to the paint department and picked up a small tube. I think I must have been really worried it wouldn’t work coz I didn’t put it on until this morning, after I was rested. ;D
From the beginning of this “ordeal” I have thought repeatedly how this is such a reflection of the person who has done the previous repairs. His interest has always and ever been in only the outward appearance. As long as everything looks good, who cares whether or not things are done correctly, or even if something is rotting beneath.
Whenever I tried to discuss real problems with the kids or with our marriage, he gave me a blank stare, then turned and walked away. An effective screw you, if I’ve ever seen one. How dare I point out that things beneath the surface are rotting? How dare I ask him to help and lead the family? How dare I even infer that he is somehow less than perfect? Look at the facade, the parts that others see. As long as that looks good, that’s all that matters.
I think at some level, not nearly as serious as my ex, we all do this. We put on a facade that makes people think we have it all together. We aren’t quite honest about what’s going on. I suppose folks would say I’m far too honest these days, but after 45 years of lying for my abusers, I’ve kind of gone overboard in the honesty department.
People who put on a facade for the world, ultimately put on a facade for God. We don’t turn to Him in prayer like we should because, to be honest, we know that He’s going to shake that facade loose and we will have to start being honest with everyone around us. That’s scary.
But it isn’t until the facade is completely broken off, and we can see what’s behind, that God can fix us. It took nearly a week, and buckets of tears (all repair projects in this house are emotional triggers) to fix the tub. But it had to be done. Our spiritual lives are the same. We come to a point where something breaks off the facade and then we have to deal with what’s underneath so we can truly fix the problem. It takes time, and diligence, and help from friends, and tears and lots of prayer, but in the end, the problem gets fixed right. That’s far better than going our whole life ignoring it and putting on a false face for the world.
The most rewarding part of this is that we learn just how much God loves us. He doesn’t go about fixing us in a harsh manner, He is not cruel. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. With the suffering He is always gentle, to those who turn to Him in desperation He gives His Peace.