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The Mask

June 3, 2010

God still speaks, and I love how God speaks through different methods to some of the people I know well. The picture to the left is one of those pieces for a good friend of mine named Ralph McLelland. He is always talking about this picture and the significance of it as a man. I liked the picture, but it didn’t really affect me as much as it did him when he discovered it. For some reason I decided to put it on my bulletin board in my counseling office when I moved to Colorado, and am I glad I did. You see this has been an extremely rough week of counseling, and I have watched a few couples I am counseling slowly begin to peel off their masks with each other. I found myself studying this picture this week. Ralph, I understand why this picture was so important to you now.

We all wear masks; these well formed devices that we use to hide who we really are from our spouses, friends, children, colleagues and the world. They are created over time to provide us with false security and safety, but what they end up doing is robbing us of our identity as men (or women). Paul calls this the “false self”. The worst thing that happens with the mask is we begin to own this false persona, and we believe the mask is “who I am”. We are no longer vulnerable in areas that we must be to grow as Christians. Jesus wants to heal those places. He wants to remove our masks. It is great to live saved, but to live whole-hearted and saved; that is what our savior died for on the Cross.

I called Ralph before I wrote this piece to ask him if it was okay to write about his picture. We reflected back and forth about the painstaking process of peeling off the mask, and then he said this, “You know God doesn’t see me that way; neither do most people I know. The real problem is when I look in the mirror; the problem is me.” I knew he was right; my heart convicted me immediately.

God help me remove my mask, and offer the real me to those I love and those who love me! Help me open my eyes to see how You see me!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth Elliott permalink
    June 3, 2010 11:30 am

    Again Mike, you have touched me with your words! Again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

  2. June 4, 2010 1:23 am

    Thank you for reaching down into my soul with these words. It was timely and i really needed it. We all wear mask. The mask of fear and insecurity. The masks of religions and false pious-ness. The Mask of self importance and inferiority complex. Several types of mask i can tell you. Sometimes we think we are doing ourselves a favor by wearing those masks. But thank God for his ability to unveil the true us and show us who really we are.
    Thank you for talking to me.

  3. Mark permalink
    June 4, 2010 2:40 am

    WOW in the quite places is He speaking…your article and that photo both captured me. What a great way to start the day. THANK YOU!

    • June 4, 2010 6:16 am

      Glad you enjoyed it Mark! It was a gift this week from God!

  4. June 4, 2010 8:03 am

    Mike, whats up?
    I liked this article on the Mask as a lot of “Fellow Christians” I know have a thick Mask and have now let it dry and can not remove it. When I tell and/or witness to others where I have been and who I was they look at me s if they are standing in the presence of the devil himself, because that is who used to lead me…and I would follow. I just hope and pray that someday they will realize that they too at one time or another have been lead. It’s hard to be pure and white with mud on your face. Tears removed mine…

    • June 4, 2010 8:09 am

      WOW Dude! Love you, great comment. Don’t worry about the “Religious” of the world; many of them have know idea the depth of God’s love because they are more worried about doing the right thing than the power of redemption in others lives. I will never look at you any different than I use too. I Love you Brother!

  5. June 7, 2010 4:25 pm

    Just wanted to share this quote from my boy Billy S.

    “God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.”-William Shakespeare

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