Empty Theater

All my longings lie open before you Lord;
My sighing is not hidden from you.
The secret pining of my heart
is not a secret to you.

The recesses of my heart
lie exposed before the Lord

In shame I cower because
I know my sinful thoughts,
my selfish motivations,
myself.

I do not want you to know me!
You cannot know me!
You cannot love me!

My worthiness is conditional on my performance.
Let me dance for you.
Let me demonstrate my acting skills.
I am a great pretender.

Yet, you step backstage with me.
You see all the preparation it took
to make myself look good.
Presentable.
Worthy.

You strip my costume closet bare
You burn up all my masks
Cast aside my makeup
overturn my vanity.

You flip the tables of the temple
I had built to honor me.

“What is this show you have made
to try to show me someone other than yourself?
Do you not like the way I made you?
I do.

Is my applause not enough for you?
Do you need more than an audience of one?
Who exactly are you trying to impress?

I know you.
You cannot impress me.
Nor do you have to.
Don’t you see how I have been smiling all this time?
Take off your layers of makeup,
Remove your mask
Look at my face and see it clearly!

Your charade has come between us!
You were so busy preparing for your performance
that you did not even notice that your theater was empty.

I know your longings
I have known them before you knew what it was to long.
And I have longed for you.
I have been waiting for you to come off the stage
patiently waiting backstage for you to stop performing.

Come back to where you belong
I made you for behind the scenes,
For where it is just you and me.
Where the spotlight does not burn your face,
Where you are not subject to judgmental gaze.

I want to know you.
I want to love you.
I can know you.
I can love you.
I do know you.
I do love you.

You don’t have to dance,
but if you do, I’ll dance with you.
You don’t have to act, there’s no one watching.
You were never that great at pretending anyway.”

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