She sits on my lap in a narrow booth. Plastic underneath us. White lights shining down. After a day of errands, we are refueling our tummies. Feeling daring I purchase a little sundae to share. A bite for her, a bite for me.
At first, my daughter is content with this. She is happy. Enjoying this rare treat of ice cream. One bite, two bites, three, and four, and…SCREAM!
The taking of turns is no longer acceptable. No patience. She wants more. More now!
Shaken into reality…beyond our little booth. I hear a woman in the booth kitty-corner, “She sure tells you how she feels.”
I smile, “Yes, yes she does.”
I didn’t think much of this scene then. Just normal life with a little one yet this morning it rings in my head. My daughter is just a one-year-old. Her life thus far has centered around her. She, from birth, has expressed her emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes. A one-year-old doesn’t wear a mask. They are true, authentic. You know when they are having a bad day. When they are upset, hungry, tired. Their expression does not lie.
As we grow, children into adults we learn to wear masks. For protection and safety. Hiding true self, no longer authentic. Years have brought pain and hardship.
The masks we chose to wear vary. Happy mask. Addiction Mask. Goofy Mask. Arrogance Mask.
Our pain, insecurity covered…or we hope. But why? Why cover what can be healed? Why cover what Christ came to heal? Why cover the power to grow, change? If a child never expressed her emotions would she learn to cope, deal? Why cover what can benefit another?
Masks are great for a performance. Masks are useful on Broadway however life is not a show. Life is not about making it through by acting and being fake. Life is living in the real and raw. Life is the changing of seasons, the ups and downs.
Is your mask helping? Is it bringing healing or hidden pain? Is your life a show or the authentic changing of seasons?
Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” NKJV
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ESV
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. ESV
Luke 4:17-19 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” NLT