One of my favorite poems is We Wear the Mask, by Paul Laurence Dunbar. It is such a haunting depiction of how we hide in the midst of many.
“In a room of a thousand we can feel like we are in an auditorium of one.”
There are so many times that we hide behind “the mask” …
And those masks are beautiful aren’t they? They are BEAT, BAKED, and BEARDED to perfection. They cover our faces and our bodies. And, even though our heart feels like a small child locked away, banging on the window panes of our eyes, begging for help, we hide. Why?
Being transparent is extremely hard. It is raw and vulnerable. It causes us to share our real.
Being transparent allows others the opportunity to see our most intimate moments — our pain …
To really see us.
And, even further, it demands for us to “see” ourselves — who we really are, not who we pretend to be. And let’s be honest … we don’t always like what we see … so instead … we smile. We laugh. We hide.
God tells us in Deuteronomy 10:16 to “Circumcise the foreskin of our hearts and be stiff-necked no longer.” We promise this is relevant; stick with us! To circumcise means to cut away, which brings forth and exposes! God is requiring us to expose our hearts and become vulnerable!
He is telling us to become transparent, to let go of what we hold onto in our hearts so firmly.
He is calling us to unmask.
Why would God tell us to do such a thing? To be raw in front of others? Ourselves? Him?
God tells Moses in Exodus 3:13: “I AM WHO I AM.” Any and all things we stand in need of, are looking for, He is. He is our protector, provider, counselor, and friend. God is the One that in the midst of the most painful unmasking is there to be our healer. He provides friends to encourage us, professionals to help us, wise counsel to guide us. God is always there. And He is always exactly what we need, when we need it. He desires for us to live a life free to follow Christ. Free to be in joy. Free to be the light He placed in us. Free to live life on purpose.
Society and the enemy want us to live alone and in fear, to hide behind the masks that keep us bound in darkness. And there are so many of us that are silently bearing weights that we were never meant to bear. The weight of depression, abuse, past pains of abandonment, loss, rejection, fear. We hide behind smiles and the facade that “everything is great!”
We don’t tell our friends, “I need a hug” or those with wisdom, “I need your guidance.” And we don’t come to our Father to say, “I need you.”
Hiding can be deadly. Like a flower with no light, our souls or our very physical lives can wither and die, hidden away in hurt. The bondage of pain, trauma and mental health is real. So is the finality of suicide. Don’t suffer in silence. What do you need to get rid of?
Allow God today to circumcise your heart. He wants us to be transparent and to be free, and to find healing in the joy of the Lord. He wants us to feel that light of hope shine on our faces.
Friends, God is calling you to do it. It’s time to unmask!