It can be dangerous to wear a mask.
Tonight: a fun event with a colorful mask, but I wasn’t quite myself. A little too loud, a bit too enthusiastic – not really a problem since I’m rather reserved most of the time and after all it was a party. Hiding behind the mask, I felt the freedom to be more outgoing and vivacious. But as the night wore on there was an alteration. The mask felt more normal, a part of me – truly, it was starting to stick to my skin, but the smile below the mask began to feel false, too.
The danger to be not quite true, not quite me was strong. Perhaps it was harmless if it served to bring me out of my shell. But the temptation was there to go just a shade further, to become someone altogether different. A person who might say or do things that I would not say or do. The darkness inside (read: sin nature) is always inches away, straining to break through and spread. Behind my mask, for a moment, it seemed that I could let the darkness in, just a little, and be more fun, more free. Perhaps, I would like that version of me better or others would like that me even more.
Thinking of this darkness, I’m reminded of a scene from Lord of the Rings when the group goes into the Mines of Moria. They are warned that there are terrible things that live in the deep of the mines and to tread lightly so as not to waken them. Of course, someone screws up and they end up running for their lives. But then Gandalf steps in and refuses to allow the beast of the dark to overtake them, with his too familiar line. That is so similar to the darkness inside me. I try to “do good” in an effort to watch my step, but it’s not enough. At some point, I screw up. Yet Someone comes between me and the sin within me and declares the way impassable. That Someone is Jesus; and I am saved by his sacrifice. Wow.
I reached a point this evening where I felt suffocated by the temptation of the mask. In an effort to restore my right frame of mind, I removed the mask and felt instant relief. It’s a danger to wear the mask when you hide to be someone you know you should not be.
Have you ever wanted to hide behind a mask and be someone different?