The IMask (aka Memask)

I used to love to talk.  I used to love to teach or speak in front of people.  When I was younger, I was active in church, I was a youth leader, I was a teacher to my fellow young people, I talk and most listen even people who are older than I am, which is a bit unusual in our culture.  The Lord has used my life to work out His plan in others’ lives.  I am sure of that and I acknowledge that it was only because the Lord did it, and not I.

But admittedly, there is the ‘Me.’  The Me that mostly got in the way.  The Me that I know now, kept the Lord from using more of me.  There is the Me that felt that there is something I know that people don’t and that I should be the one to tell them.  The Me that loves being visible.  The Me that wasn’t afraid to go out there because she has a nice figure, a nice face, an education, opportunities and experiences that most of her peers only dreamed about.

A few years later, the Me became disfigured (mostly in her mind but also in physical reality), the face was ravished by skin problems, and only the opportunities and experiences remained.  The Me started shunning the public, hiding when friends or visitors come knocking; making every effort to become invisible; ever refusing to look people in the eyes for fear of getting stared at, making them realize how  ugliness defined itself in that once-upon-a-time presentable face .  In the end, the Me dug a hole in the ground and buried herself with her books, and her work.  Oh yeah, she is still serving the Lord in the hole (at least that’s what she tells herself to convince herself) but she knows in her heart of hearts that she needs to realize one thing.  The ME was actually a mask that she wears around. Masks are meant to be worn only in masquerade parties.  You take them off when you get home.  And she is supposed to be home in the security of her Lord’s great love.  But she locked herself out from that Home.

The MeMask hides the face that is supposed to be the reflection of Christ.  So she realized that and started to call out to the Lord to dig her up from the hole she buried herself into.  He did! Like always, He did.  By now, the MeMask has sunk deep into the skin that the Surgeon needed to peel it off rotten-piece by rotten-piece.  The surgery is still on-going.

Now, I still love teaching.  I love the helplessness that I feel when I am preparing.  I love the fear it ignites within me, the feeling of utter inadequacy—because then I could do nothing but to reach out and grasp that Hand that has always been there guiding me, propelling me, steadying me when I stagger, giving me the needed push when I wanted to turn back, pulling me over when I am going too fast.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; 6 to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; 7 to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love.  8 For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately.” 2Pet 1 NET


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