…the grand facade, so soon will burn….
In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel
For 30+ years now, I have sung this song, one of my faves, especially the delicate remake by Nichole Nordeman.
Today i heard another word in place of ‘grand facade’: ‘masquerade.
And in that split second of awareness that can only come from Godly given insight, I clearly knew God wants me to let go of my mask.
The mask that has been aiding me, hiding me & protecting me from the world around me.
I can relate to a few animals in the animal kingdom. Fox. Cat. Song Birds.
Unless they are raising young, they tend to be solitary creatures, living mainly lonely existences to the outsider looking in. But they don’t care about what we think, their instinct is to hide when they are afraid.
Unless I lay down my mask, I will end up the same. Except I care too much sometimes what others think about me at times, and I am tired of hiding.
Why I am afraid? I fear that if everyone really knew the real me, they and deep deep down, God, wouldn’t like me.
The mask that was supposed to aid me was in fact an enemy designed cover causing me harm.
That’s right. When we wear masks (not when we are paid actors or acting for a scene in a play, mind you) we align ourselves with the enemy.
That isn’t any good for anyone who is one of God’s children, which we ultimately all are.
God wants us to be who He has made us to be, not hiding behind masks.
I have a few small tattoos that I got several years ago on an impulsive whim. They irked my hubby (the shock of no notice and he doesn’t like the dark black ink color) and so I have covered them up and had them lightened a bit. Masking over what I liked. (Note: Hubby has since said his issue with them doesn’t mean I have to keep them covered up when I am around him.)
Now I am aware of cultural differences, and so in my work settings where it would potentially be offensive, I do not show them off but easily keep them covered under work attire.
I am free to show them, but choose to respect the views of those around me. I am not hiding them out of fear.
In the same way, our masks that hide our true nature need to come down, yet we are to be respectful of those around us while being true to who we are.
I am an artsy writer singer tea lover momma friend who loves God.
As I take my worn mask off, I realize that I can truly not hide who I am anymore. I could only squelch it for moments, maybe even hours, but the mask was never meant to be worn long term like our true identity is.
Stop settling for a second rate version of who God designed you to be, and take a look at yourself through His eyes:
Image bearer of God
We were made to reveal His image to the world around us.
Wearing a mask cheapens our look and limits our ability to radiate the Son.
Am i all of a sudden comfortable speaking up for myself in some areas where I have been masquerading?
Not really, to be completely honest. I just emailed someone to make an offer of help who may not receive it well. I followed His lead, and was myself in a way that may make the reader uncomfortable.
But I know the one who will give me the right words to say, reveal the timing of when I am to say them, and prepare the heart of the one i am to speak it to. My part is to stay real before Him. And on the days when I need the reminder, I tell myself:
God loves you.
Just as you are.
Despite your foibles, pimples, quirks, mistakes, impulsiveness and everything in between!
He died for us in an eternal display of grace and love while ripping the mask of religion in two.
The veil was masking God from His people. By destroying it He re-veiled Himself, stripping the mask and shining His true image for the world to see.
I am a little apprehensive and excited all rolled into one as to what my giving up my mask will look like.
However, as I increasingly get to know the God I follow, I am comforted to know that He knows the plans He has for me, plans for blessing, hope and a future beyond what i can see right here, in this now.
I will be able to see His face all the clearer without my mask.
I can feel how much He loves me when I come, just as I am, and let His love wash over me in a river of undeserved but oh so appreciated grace, and see how He will increasingly reveal Himself to and through me as I stop hiding.
How about you?