I stopped by the store earlier this week and was bombarded by the huge display of Halloween paraphernalia. The aisles were filled with Halloween costumes and masks; some scary, some funny and everything in between.
Halloween is approaching and whether you participate or not, we are all aware of the multitude of masks that will be worn to parties or trick or treating.
And I am reminded of the masks I sometimes wear.
I have many. There’s one that smiles and says all is ok. There’s one that looks like “she has it all together”. There’s one that (insert your answer here)…
Because don’t we all wear a mask at one time or another?
Why must we wear the masks? Maybe it is just too frightening to be who we really are in this world of harsh judgments. I cringe when I think of the times I have been the judge and the jury – maybe even not purposefully – but I did it just the same.
Masks help us “fit in” or at the very least they keep us from standing out.
Masks help us make it through the day when the day is simply too difficult to be all we are feeling.
Masks protect us from hurt or shame.
Masks keep our secrets.
I remember wearing one of those plastic face masks with the band that stretched around my head. It was an “old school” mask with two eye holes and slits for the nose and mouth. I was Cinderella and all was right with the world. It didn’t matter that my hair and pulled on the band or that my face was itchy and hot. I would snatch it off so I could breathe and talk but despite being uncomfortable, I put it right back on.
Our invisible masks, not as physically uncomfortable as a costume mask, are exhausting to wear. They may even be painful to remove because they have become almost permanently attached to our skin.
You are only ever loved to the extent that you are known. ~ John Ortberg
God knows all that we are, all that we ever were and all we will be and HE still loves us.
We can’t have the kind of marriage, family, friendships or success in life we really crave until we lay down the mask.
God knows the emptiness and loneliness caused by the masks. He delights in helping us remove our masks and takes us as we are.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ~ Romans 3:23-24
Not every person or even every situation calls for us to be transparent, but wearing a mask can deny others the opportunity to encourage or be encouraged by us.
In God’s hands even the things that have broken us can be used by Him to make us whole again. – Sheila Walsh
Let’s pray God will put people in our path that can help us find our true selves – – to press through the fear of rejection, open up and be real about our life and show God’s power working in us.
So today, let’s forget who we’re supposed to be and remember who we are… Let’s be the reason someone else can take off their mask and let’s take off our masks and be real.