The Masks That We Wear
By Hannah Sweet
The weather is beginning to turn, and a chill hangs in the air; Halloween costumes line the shelves and children clamor to find that perfect new identity to slip into. As I look forward to all the pleasures of autumn, I find myself thinking heavily on the masks we wear on a daily basis. Perhaps your mask is that of the mom who has it all together; or perhaps your mask is that of one who finds fulfillment in the work that they do; or perhaps the mask you wear is that you’re a pillar of society; the point is everyone has secrets. Everyone has a face that they don’t show; maybe the teacher at your kids school hates kids; maybe the mom who is always just a bit more extra at school functions lives in the midst of chaos and clutter; maybe the athletic-fit person has a drawer of chips and junk that they binge eat late at night when no one is looking; but perhaps the most distressing façade among people is this, those who, in real life appear to live a good, godly life, but then as soon as they are behind a computer screen become nasty, hateful creatures who often type things or post things they would never say or present in a face-to-face interaction; i.e. their Sunday morning faces versus their Saturday night faces. As I mentally prepare for the coming autumn season, and the new masks people will dawn; think women obsessed with pumpkin spice, I have been replaying the words to the Broadway smash hit Jekyll & Hyde, Façade:
Every day People, in their own sweet way, Like to add a coat of paint, And be what they ain't!
That's how our little - Game is played, Livin' like a masquerade Actin' a bizarre charade - While playing the saint!
But there's one thing I know, And I know it for sure: This disease that we've got Has got no ready cure! And I'm certain Life is terribly hard - When your life's a facade!
It is not easy to be the sort of person where “what you see is what you get”, and of course go on and keep your secrets; for those secrets we have locked deep within our hearts are known to God already. God knows who we are under what society dictates we are. We can pretend, put on a Sunday morning face while still using Saturday’s mindset, but God knows when we are being hypocritical. We cannot hide from God. He always knows. It isn’t always popular to be a follower of God, don’t believe me, look it up even Peter denied Jesus three times; but God knows our troubles and seeks to help shoulder the burden. He does this in all kinds of ways; it could be through a friend who helps shoulder your burdens, it could be through a youth; it could be through your dog, God’s love knows no bounds.
This autumn I encourage you all to go without your masks; let the world know you are a follower of God. Show them by the ways that you carry yourself day-to-day; and not just in real life but as you navigate your interactions on the information super highway. Never forget that just because you can’t see people when you sit at your computer or on your phone, that somewhere else there is another real-life human reading what you put out there, consuming your information. Don’t let the façade you wear hide the Godliness instilled in you when you made the choice to follow Him. If you aren’t sure how to do that, pray, ask God to help you let His love shine in all your decisions.
Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me despite the façade I carry around, and the masks that I wear. Please let me be a beacon of Your love and light no matter the face I wear. Thank you for loving me even if I falter, and even in my most hypocritical moments. Without your love my life would be an empty shell. Please continue to guide me on my journey. Amen.