Mister Cellophane shoulda been my name, Mister Cellophane.
‘Cause you can look right through me, walk right by me
And never know I’m there…”
I love the film Chicago. There are some brilliant jazz songs in it and one day I’m sure I’ll get around to seeing the stage show. One of my favourite songs is sung by the character Amos. He’s the husband of Roxy, one of the leading characters, and he sort of just plods along through the story, faithfully standing by Roxy throughout the whole ordeal. But he’s left on the side-lines a lot. He’s ignored and pushed to the fringes by the main characters who continue their adventures and that leaves me feeling sorry for poor old Amos, who then launches into the song Mister Cellophane; nobody even notices him. It’s a sad part of the story.
Just recently however, I’ve seen this song in a totally different light.
I was leading worship at the church I’m part of in London a couple of weeks ago and the service seemed to go really well; the songs flowed well, the atmosphere was good, people were engaged with God in a big way – It was a good time in Church. A few days later in the office at church, one of the staff members came to find me –
“Jimmy, I just want to say that Sunday was brilliant. You led really well. It was great because it was like you were… Transparent!”
I was transparent? I was see through? I was hardly even there?!
And then it dawned on me: I had done my job right, because the duty of a worship lead is not to get recognition for singing well or playing well or picking the cool songs but to direct people’s attention to Jesus. The quicker the worship leader takes the attention off of themselves and fixes it upon Jesus the better. It’s all too easy for egos and self-awareness to get in the way of leading worship. Standing at the front of the church with people watching you and following your every move can be dangerous if your heart and motives are skewed. But to be in that position and help to enable the church to focus on their God and dissolve out of sight is a real privilege.
I was Mister Cellophane for all the right reasons and that someone had been kind enough to let me know that was a really privilege for me.
I had done my job well
Shoulda been my name
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…