Saturday, 21 April 2012

Hiding Behind the Mask

It's clear to me that I wear a mask in public. Just as naturally as I wear my suit to Church or sweats to the park when running, I pick up my mask when i leave home and head off into the outside world.

"Hi. How are you?"
"Oh, I'm fine! How are you?"

Sounds familiar? To me "fine" is not a an acceptable word to describe the complex emotions, thoughts and experiences of a magnificent child of God. Our lives are so rich and accompanied by powerful feelings, joys and pains that "fine" cannot simply cut it. A mowed lawn might be fine. A tuna sandwich may be fine. The weather on a Spring morning could just about be fine (even sometimes here in Britain!) Our lives? Try giddy, despondent, troubled, fearful, enthused, ecstatic, overwhelmed, burdened, hopeful, anxious, peaceful (and i could go on ......and on). Perhaps we experience vast ranges and varied collections of emotions within each day. If the Lord took me into His presence and asked me to share with him how I was feeling, what would I say? I'm pretty certain I would not tell him I was doing fine. He would see through such dishonesty.

So how do we balance things out? I'm not advocating letting all of our concerns and weaknesses hang out there on public display. I am suggesting that, at least in my life, I open up a bit more where possible. Those friends that are around us, as well as family members, dear ones who have earned our trust, have been placed in our midst by God. Let's exercise some caution but surely let's give more away than trite pleasantries.

The hymn teaches, "In the quiet heart is hidden sorrows that the eye can't see". (Lord, I Would Follow Thee). Let's help our dear associates to feel comfortable enough in our presence to open up that we may be of value in performing the work of the Master. They need to be lived and listened to. There are sinking souls in need of rescue. You may be one. God loves you and will not fail to succor you in the appointed hour.

So, tomorrow when I go to Church and shake those hands and greet those dear Brothers and Sisters, I will try to look behind the "fine". Maybe I'll be able to take off my mask, my disguise, that convinces people that all is well. Either way, while I am on my voyage of recovery, I am beginning to understand the need to be me.

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