Masks, as defined by Google, “is a covering for all or part of the face, worn as a disguise, or to amuse or frighten others.” It can be used to “conceal something from view”, or for a performance or entertainment.
I was lying in bed a few minutes ago and I was staring at these two beautiful performance masks my parents bought for my birthday. When you put them on, the mask itself acts as another face. The face on the mask can show anything, ranging from a smile to a sad frown. The ones I have show neutral faces- no smiles or frowns. And it made me think…I have a few things on my mind, a few things I’m feeling but I believe I mask them quite well with the simplest smile and laugh. People find that easier to believe and accept. Most people would much rather be around someone who is happy than someone who is serious and a deep thinker.
So everyday, I put on my mask. I wake up and get ready for work. Straight out the shower, you could quite easily tell how I’m feeling, apart from being tired. My puffy eyes may give it away, if I’ve cried over night. But I prepare my face with skin toner and moisturizer. I put on my makeup and I do my hair. I look in the mirror and I pull faces until my mouth has stretched enough to look like I’ve been smiling and laughing quite a bit. And I head to work.
Once there, I greet everyone with a tight squeeze for a hug and a bright “Good morning :)”.
From what I gather, nearly everyone believes it. (I say nearly because there are those special people who can take one look into our eyes and/or hear our voices and just know something isn’t right.) And it’s not just what we portray on our faces. It’s our responses to questions like “Are you okay?” or “How are you?”. Some might say “I’m good thanks” or “Yeah, I’m okay” or “I’m fine, thanks”, when really, they’re just telling the other what they want to hear. I know because I do it all the time.
Our ‘masks’ are barriers that prevents us from showing the world how vulnerable we are. It also tells everyone that I am going through something but I’m strong enough to keep it together. That’s the most important part. To believe we are strong enough to keep going.
But I want to add to that subject of strength. As you may or may not know, I am a Christian. I believe in God and I have faith in His abilities to do many powerful things in our lives, if we allow Him to. When we are going through something, our strength alone won’t be enough, in my eyes. We shouldn’t rely on OUR own strength (or the strength gathered by leaning on other people) but we should rely on the strength of God. To believe in something bigger than us who is capable of creating the universe around us, should give us the strength to believe that that being can carry our troubles too.
Here are two quotes from Isaiah:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
If we were to use any mask, it should be the strength of God. Full stop.
One lady I met at work the other day had been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told her she had 4 months to live. She has lived for another 3 years. She looked so healthy and happy. She didn’t show a single sign of weakness or ‘death’ and her sister told her she was in denial. You know what she said to me? She said that she had accepted that she had cancer. She was just too stubborn to let cancer affect her strength and faith in God. That was the biggest thing in this journey with cancer that kept her going. I will never forget meeting her! What an inspiration.
So, I’m hoping you could take away the point I was trying to make:
Let God’s strength be YOUR mask.
Until next time,