How Emotive John Became Deer In the Headlights John

Yesterday afternoon I met with a friend who had started a company about a year ago focusing on wedding videos and is helping put together a ministry presentation during my furlough.  As we munched on chicken sandwiches he explained the video was very good and definitely shared my calling to Melbourne, there was just one problem…the person in the video wasn’t me.

Allow me to explain.  Normally after getting through the awkward getting to know you phase I am a loud outgoing entertainer who for some strange reason loves doing anything in front of large crowds.  But put me in front of a camera and I go from excited story telling John to someone I like to call “professional John.”

Now please understand I have no problem with a person being professional or organized since this is necessary.  I do have an issue with professional John however because he focuses so much on looking or sounding professional that the real emotion or personality doesn’t come through.  Professional John speaks at least two octaves higher than I normally would, always uses a monotone emotionless voice, and permanently has a deer in the headlights look in his eyes with a dead serious expression on his face.

My lunch meeting was eerily similar to another conversation I had one Sunday afternoon in 2009 with the woman who was interviewing me for my first furlough presentation.  After going through the script twice she stopped the camera, looked at me, and asked, “what are you doing?”  Thankfully I didn’t have to answer that confusing question because she proceeded to explain the young man being recorded had not emotion or energy; which is what draws people to me in the first place along with the calling of God on my life.

To take my emotion away from the presentation may make it sound more professional but would also make people believe I was an introverted person and contradict my personality.  In a deeper sense my trying to make myself “professional” subconsciously bought into the fact that God can only use the quiet reserved dead serious people…which thankfully isn’t true.

Almost all of us put on masks from time to time and make ourselves look like something different.  Your mask may be
different from mine but the truth beneath them (we must be a certain way for God to bless us) is an incredibly deceptive sin.  So there is a challenge for all of us to remove our masks and embrace the unique (and crazy) way that God has created us.  After all, being loud and emotive is better than being fake.

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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