It was one of the most adorable and unexpected moments. I stepped out of the shower, and there stood my three year old daughter, plastered head to toe in self sticking panty liners. She had them stuck to her forehead, cheeks, chin, arms, belly and legs, giving me just a glimpse of her bright eyes and button nose between the fluffy panels. With a beaming smile, she looked up at me from the rug she was sitting on and proudly declared, “See mommy, I covered all of my boo-boos.”
All I could do was laugh, and how I wish I had thought to grab my camera as proof of this endearing moment. My daughter was blessed with an abundance of freckles, and her young mind thought they were boo-boos which needed to be covered with what she thought were giant band-aids. She could not resist a box of band aids, and I could not keep them in stock.
We gently removed them, and I offered her an explanation for those beautiful freckles which sprinkled her cheeks and nose; I told her they were angel kisses sent from God, who loved her very much. It was the best explanation I could think of first thing in the morning. Later, upon reflection, I had images of my daughter telling any number of her friends who had no freckles how God must not love them. Isn’t it funny the stories we create in order to ease the imaginations of our children.
It struck me how this situation is a mirror of our own imaginations even as adults and how we view our imperfections as needing to be covered, hidden or masked. Living in a world which places such high value on outward beauty certainly does not help. We are left with a warped sense of reality and beauty in which the masks become reality instead of what lies beneath.
If you were to look deep within the closet of your heart, how many masks would you find? Have you collected a variety of masks through the years? Let’s just say, my closet would be categorized for easy access and quick retrieval.
- Glittery, happy masks to hide emotions of anger, fear and bitterness
- Colorful, vibrant masks to hide thoughts of rejection and loneliness
- Perfectly formed, confident masks to hide insecurities
- Expensive, exquisite masks to hide all that is lacking
- Daring, whimsical masks to hide vulnerabilities
Rather humorous, but the fact is, we are all the same-imperfect humans living in an imperfect world, seeking some kind of perfection to make us feel like we measure up against the next person. It gets even better; we think other people can’t see our masks, but eventually they come into view as a lack of authenticity always does. What masks are you wearing? I know mine all too well, and I have been working for years to remove them once and for all.
Masks rob us of those gifts in life which are necessary to live authentically.
They rob us in the following ways:
- Relationships struggle to reach the depth necessary to weather storms.
- We deprive ourselves of the ability to accept and extend authentic love.
- Trusting becomes difficult and limited.
- Emotions, dependent on what others think of us, dictate our value.
- Our thoughts, not based on reality, create lies in our hearts.
- Our voice cannot be heard.
- We cannot experience true peace and contentment.
Sound familiar? It does to me, and this is not how I want to live my life. We are all perfectly, uniquely different, and so many of the imperfections we want to hide are the parts which make us unique, real and authentic. They are the gifts God has placed within us, on us and in our life as testimony of His love for us. When we make the choice to do the hard work of living our life free of masks, we are able to see those imperfections we call “boo-boos” are actually angel kisses, sent by a God who loves us and desires for us to be the very person we were created to be; alive, real and free.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6