Loneliness is a universal human experience. The popular musical Dear Evan Hansen has been so well received in part because its story centers on how loneliness and a false version of ourselves hinder connection rather than build it. Evan becomes popular when his classmates wrongly believe he was close friends with Connor, the school rebel who died. When the truth comes out, it all disintegrates. “Community built on lies is full of insecurity. There is the constant wondering that you will be discovered, the fear that people will find you out. You are ultimately left feeling just as alone as when you started. Evan learned this the hard way.” (CJ Quartlbaum, “Dear Evan Hansen Addresses Our Culture’s Pervasive Loneliness,” Christ and Pop Culture, March 21, 2019, A real relationship cannot be built if you are pretending to be someone you aren’t. Those who know the gospel of Jesus know that we don’t have it all together and all figured out. We know we mess up. It’s the foundation of our faith: we need something bigger than ourselves to save us from our propensity to sin and self-destruction. So, why do we put on masks to pretend we’re perfect? To find your people, you must be you. Vulnerability is risky. No doubt you will be misunderstood. But it is worth the risk. You don’t want someone to love and accept an artificial version of you; you want them to know and love the real you. That’s the belonging that we all long for.