By Pastor Barbara Beale
peare once said, “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
What kind of mask do you put on every day? In my “wardrobe” I have many masks, and my favorite is a happy face. That way, others may not notice the sadness or loneliness that I may be experiencing.
Another favorite of mine is the mask of perfection, you know, the one who lets others think that we “have it all together,” but in reality, our “all together” is falling apart?
The masks we wear keep others from seeing the “real us.” It just may be too embarrassing if we were ever “found out” that we are not the perfect, student, the perfect, boss, the perfect child, the perfect spouse, or the perfect Christian. So, every day we don on our masks, go about our business, and when friends ask how we are, we just smile and declare, “Great! How are you?”
While we may be able to keep others from seeing who we really are, God sees straight through our masks and right down to the real us. God sees all of our flaws and mistakes and failures and yet God loves us completely and unconditionally.
Isn’t it comforting to know how much He loves us? Psalm 139 tells us that God searches us and knows us. God knows us completely, from the inside out. God knows a word before it even reaches our tongue. God is familiar with our ways.
God isn’t surprised by us because God knows our every thought, our every worry, our every joy, our every hurt. There is nowhere we can run from His Spirit and nowhere to escape God’s love.
There is no mask we could ever make or buy that would hide our true selves from God. With God, we can stop pretending, we can take off our masks, and God (and perhaps others, too) will love for who we are and whose we are. So let us throw our masks away!
Barbara Beale is pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church/Schroeder, ELCA