How are you in the current situation with a mask obligation? It happens to me often, when I go to the village or to the shop for shopping that I don’t recognize the people under the mask at first. I always have to look twice. Meeting people with masks is different, it feels more distant, I don’t recognize facial expressions, no facial language. The masks serve as protection, but they are like a barrier between people.
Today, however, I would like to speak about those masks that we also wear outside of obligated mask times. We all know situations in which we wore an invisible mask. Situations where we do not show what we really are, pretend and are not authentic. But why do we want to hide behind masks?
we want to protect ourselves
we are afraid to show our true face
we think about what other people think or say about us
we seek recognition from people
we just want to show our best side
we are afraid of being hurt even if we show our mistakes and weaknesses
we fear the judgment of other people
As a result, we like to take on roles that we are not. We pretend and hide under a mask that shows the picture of us that we just want to show.
But we are not really doing well, we all want to be accepted and seen, just how we really are. We feel comfortable in an environment and with people, where we are accepted and loved, with all our mistakes, inadequacies and weaknesses, in our imperfection.
Where and with whom can we remove our masks?
I have experienced such unconditional love primarily with God. I don’t have to pretend in front of him, he knows me better than I know myself. He knows my heart and everything that goes on there.
“Lord, you have tested my heart and know everything about me” Psalm 139: 1
He knows every one of my thoughts.
“When I sit or when I get up, you know it. You know all my thoughts ”Psalm 139.2
He knows all of my intentions and actions.
“When I go or when I rest, you see it and you are familiar with everything I do” Psalm 139.3
He knows my words.
“And you, Lord, know what I want to say before I say it” Psalm 139: 4
I cannot hide from God because He is everywhere.
“Where should I flee from your mind, and where could I escape your presence? If I fly up to heaven, you are there; I went down into the realm of the dead , so you are there too. If I took the wings of the dawn or lived on the outermost sea, your hand would also lead me there and your strong arm would hold me. If I asked the darkness to hide myself and the light around me to become night – I could still not hide from you; for night shines as brightly as day and darkness as light “Psalm 139: 7-12
God loves me just as I am. His love is unconditional. He has good thoughts about me.
“How precious are your thoughts about me , God! There are an infinite number. If I wanted to count them, they are more numerous than the sand! ”Psalm 139: 17-18
The more I become aware of his love and recognize who I am in God’s eyes, the more I can accept myself as I am and be authentic to the outside world.
The more I know how God thinks about me, the less important I get what other people think about me. Fear of God defeats fear of man.
The more I realize that God is powerful in my weakness, the easier it is for me to show my weaknesses and to be less vulnerable.
The more I know that I am a child of God and belong to him, the less I always have to belong everywhere.
The more masks I take off, the freer I become and the more i can be who I really am, just as God created and meant me.
“You created everything in me and shaped me in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderful and excellent! Your works are wonderful, I know that. You watched how I was made in secret, how I was formed in the darkness of the womb . You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was written in your book. Every moment was certain before the first day began ”Psalm 139: 13-16
I want to keep growing in seeing myself with God’s eyes. I am a beloved daughter of God, made unique and valuable and I want to live more in this identity. Because living without masks brings freedom, transforms distance into proximity, is real and honest. And in addition to God, there will certainly be people who appreciate this openness and honesty and who understand and love me, not because I wear a mask, but precisely because I took it off.
And in the same way I want to meet others and create space for real encounters, where masks can fall and the other can be as he is, feels valued and accepted. So that the real self can appear under the mask.
A person sees what is in front of their eyes; but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16.7