Behind Our Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile

And mouth with myriad subtleties,

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile,

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

--Paul Laurence Dunbar

If you were to meet me on the street, I would pretty much look like a normal middle-aged housewife. Okay, I need to lose weight and since getting my "new hair" I have refused to dye it but other than that, I look pretty ordinary. Looks can be deceiving.

I don't look like I've had a "chunk" of me removed or once had a port or have uh... some permanently damaged sweat glands (amongst other things). My feet and left hand look perfectly normal but if you poke them with something sharp, there's a good chance I won't say ouch or even flinch as they usually feel "asleep". You would never know that I have titanium stopping up a leak in my brain or that though an MRI of my face show no problems, I have a nerve there that likes to make it's presence known. For nearly 53 years I was blissfully unaware of it. I guess it figured it was time for me to start paying attention to it. There are no bright flashing signs identifying me as a diabetic. Oh and you would never know that I should never have blood pressure taken from or needles stuck into my left arm.

You would never know these things just looking at me. In fact, that's why I wear a medical bracelet and carry a card on my person as well. So if an emergency arises where I am incapacitated and family members are not around, someone will be alerted to my "issues" and I can receive the proper care and treatment.

We are surrounded by "ordinary" people whose "issues" are carefully hidden beneath a mask. Sometimes people get so used to wearing that mask that they forget it is even there. Don't let them fool you. We all have worn masks at one time or another.

God not only wants to strip away our mask; he also wants us to look through the masks of others around us. We don't have to go very far to find hurting and broken people. Chances are, some of them are sitting next to you at church.

Life is not a costume party. It is time to remove our masks... and look past the masks of others.

Blessings!

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Joyce Bethy Ferguson @bethy ·

I read this this morning before I went into work, and I realised that I spend most of my lifew wearing a mask of one kind or the other. In work I wear the mask of Mrs Ferguson or just plain "miss" . I act in work, the kids do not see the real me. With the kids I am "mum", again they do not see the real me behind that mask.

I could go on and on and on. I pray that when I am in the Presence of God that my mask comes down. Oh I do hope so.

anyway I loved this, really loved it.