Today being Halloween, it’s a day to wear a mask and to say: “Trick or Treat!” Sad to say, many of us wear some sort of masks all year long….my “I’m Too Busy Mask”, my “Hurry Up Mask”, my “Teasing Mask”, my “In Control, John Wayne Mask”, my “Mr. Cool Mask”, my “Ms. Perfect Mask”. We all wear them at some time or another.
The sad thing about wearing these and other masks is – it keeps others from knowing us, liking us, and yes, it keeps others from loving us.
And we wear masks with God as well: “I’m Too Busy to Pray Right Now Mask” and my “I Know What’s Best for Me, God, Mask”.
One woman I know told me about a “creature” that appeared at her door a few Holloweens ago. She thought it was the scariest creature she’d ever seen. The rubber mask covering the young man’s face and head, had twisted features, a pulled-down mouth and a bright red “wound” on the cheek. She quickly dropped a couple of home-made cookies into the young man’s sack and quickly closed the door.
A couple of days later when the paper boy came to collect, he said: “Those sure were good cookies you gave me on Halloween!” He was the young man behind the mask. She could hardly believe it. She will tell anyone that the young man is fantastic – good-natured, polite, and working to become an Eagle Scout.
The woman remarked to me later: “Could there be a lovable child of God behind some or even many of the ugly masks we wear? That woman with the stringy, unwashed hair who sat near us in church last week. There might be a sweet-natured child with little self-esteem behind her unkempt disguise. That opinionated guy who seems so cocky. There might be a little boy behind his blustery camouflage, hoping that his fear won’t show. The pushy woman crowding in front of us at the post office. I wonder if the little girl in her felt ignored for too long.”
All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain.
Yet we are ALL Children of God