Sunday, May 11, 2008


I've never been a fan of masks. I take a lot of cues to how conversations or situations are going from people's facial reactions. Anything that gets in the way of my ability to "read" a person annoys me. Ask Jon-Boy. I bugged him for months about his hair being too long because it hung in front of his eyes. Masks are even worse, which is, of course the point of a mask. To hide the persons facial features and expressions from another person.

Tonight as I was praying at RAW it hit me that we all hide behind a lot of masks in life. We all have different masks for different people or situations. My church mask is much different than my family mask. The mask I wear with people I'm meeting for the first time is radically different than the mask I wear with people I've know since Jr. High. On any given day I can wear dozens of different masks depending on the places I find myself and the people I find myself with.

My masks come from a lifetime of learning. I've learned that on Sunday mornings I need my "I'm an introvert making an effort to be extroverted" mask in place during church. In new situations I put on the "I love making small talk" mask. There is the "always happy", the "I'm agreeing with you even though I think you're wrong because I want this conversation over" mask and so on and so on and so on. Some of them are pretty thin and people can see behind them easily. Some masks are so firmly in place that even I don't know that they are masks.

As I was praying I was reminded that the only one who can clearly see beyond all the masks is God. Great revelation right? Yeah, it isn't a huge surprise but it is a reminder for me that as much as I try to hide from God, God still sees. There's no way that I can keep things hidden. God may play along a little, like in the Garden of Eden when God was looking for Adam and Eve and called out "Where are you?", but really God knows every nuance of who I am, how I think and what makes me tick. That isn't a comforting thought at times, especially when I'm hiding from myself. Sooner or later God is going to start peeling away the masks, revealing what's really underneath and that, my friends is painful.

In my Come Away time this last week, God and I had a chat about an issue that we've been talking about for, oh, 10 years. It came up unexpectedly and we had a pretty heated discussion. Well, heated on my end anyway because God started to peel away a mask that I wasn't really aware that I was wearing. I think it's partly denial and partly just a need to keep myself safe from hurt and pain. Anyway the mask has been revealed and now the hard work of either keeping it in place or removing it completely begins.

Wearing masks keeps me safe sometimes from other people, but when it comes to God all masks get removed sooner or later. What mask is God revealing to you?

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