Brenda’s Blog – November 17, 2020
“Put on your mask – they won’t let you in without it.”
These words of admonition were mine as I dropped my 22 year old grandson off for his doctor’s appointment. Quite a normal instruction, isn’t it?
As I reread Steve Brown’s classic “Three Free Sins” he talked about the masks we wear. BOOM! My words to Andrew came spinning back into my mind. Culture is now reinforcing one of the governing principles of social interaction: we wear masks.
“How are you?” “Fine,” we automatically answer through the mask we wear. “How are the kids doing?” “Great,” we eagerly respond speaking through the mask which hides emotional hurt and concern.
I was in sales management for years. One of the standard training clichés was “fake it ‘til you make it.” Well, I often thought as I worked to develop success strategies “what if they never make it? Do they go on faking it?” I fear so.
A disturbed young woman recently said to me, “I am so tired of smiling, and being funny just to fit in – just to be accepted. I am just worn out.” Her mask was making marks on her soul.
We knew when mask wearing became “de rigueur” the marketing departments wouldn’t settle for generic, faux medical face coverings. It wasn’t long before bedazzled, sequined models arrived. Or, graphics which depicted gnarly expressions. Or, how about the “Jesus loves you” versions which serve to evangelize while hiding us? Aren’t we the same way? We don’t settle for simple versions but develop sophisticated strategies for distracting others from seeing us.
Interestingly enough, our eyes are still visible. My sweet Mom used to judge my well-being (and my moral integrity) by looking into my eyes. There were times I dreaded the all-knowing stare from my very perceptive parent. I laugh now as I remember her assessment of my physical health with just this one phrase “Your eyes look weak.” The masks still allow that peek into our souls, don’t they?
As we obediently don the coverings which make us socially acceptable may we refuse to hide who we are as beloved children of God. May we look into the eyes of others, see and love the imago dei.