Masks

31 10 2012

Later today, the doorbell will ring. Children will line up for trick or treats, each wearing a costume designed to inspire dreams or nightmares. Some will choose the wistfulness of fantasy – princesses, pirates, and animated characters will come to life right before my eyes. Other children will choose to explore the possibilities of the future – doctors, construction workers, and future presidents will knock on my door. There will be a few that seek to scare me by conjuring up frightful images of ghosts, goblins, and zombies.

No matter which costume they choose, almost every child will wear some kind of mask. On Halloween, a mask lets a little one pretend they are someone else. They allow them to try on someone new, stretching imaginations and playing in the realm of possibility. Tomorrow, their masks will come off and the kids will be themselves again.

The truth is I wear masks all the time. Not fun, fanciful, or frightening masks. These masks are intended to be hiding places for my true self. There is the ‘sure-I’m-fine’ mask, the ‘I’ve-got-it-all-together’ mask, the ‘super-mom’ mask, the ‘I’m caring and concerned’ mask, and the ‘good Christian’ mask. I pull the mask down over my authentic self to cover the weariness, doubt, apathy, exhaustion, struggling reality of my heart. I convince myself that you would rather see the mask than the mess I really am.

Jesus never wore a mask. His authenticity is one of His gifts to us. When we see Jesus, we see the Father. Nothing fake. Just genuine love and honest-to-goodness grace.

My Jesus Resolution today is to set down my mask. Learning to look like Jesus isn’t about putting up a fake front that hides my sinful self. It is about living in a transformation that is changing the identity of my soul. It is about learning to be the real me God has always longed for me to be. On the way, some of my ugliness is going to show. But what is going to be most visible is the beauty of a Savior who is loving, leading, changing, forgiving, and blessing me with Himself. Today, I am going to leave the costumes to the kids and laugh with them as they smile and giggle. My treat will be God’s delight as I set my masks down and embrace the image of His Son.


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