I wear a mask
It hides my thoughts. My dreams. My plans
It hides my pain. My longings.
Like a big piece of tape-my mask holds me together.
Like an anchor-it is dragging me.
Dragging me to the bottom of the deepest ocean.
All I have to do is let go.
But it’s not that easy.
I know- I must know- that if I don’t let go,
Let go of the lies I believe.
My mask will kill me.
But I don’t let go. I must hold on.
“My mask is very comfortable,” I tell myself.
When I wear it I know how my life will be.
I’ll have friends, I’ll be popular.
I’ll never be alone.
I’ve told myself my mask is comfortable.
I almost believe it now.
But it’s not.
It makes me lose sleep. It’s hot. It makes me sick.
My mask is slowly killing me.
It’s killing the very innermost parts of me,
Those always go first.
Or so I’ve heard.
My mask isn’t moving thought.
Because it comforts me.
I suppose because I’ll know what each day will bring.
And that I’ll never be alone.
The truth that I don’t hear about my mask
Is that with it on, I’m always alone.
That I’m dying.
My mask is killing me.
“Take it off,” I hear a voice say.
I turn to see a man.
His clothes are white
Yet, soaked in blood.
I finger the mask. Longingly. Waveringly.
“No thanks,” I say, smiling up at him.
He sets his hand gently on my shoulder.
“Take it off.” He repeats steadily.
I shake my head with a smile.
Then the man looks at me.
Like he sees my heart thought the mask.
And his look tells me that he loves me.
“But my daughter,” He begins
“You are dying behind your mask.
You see, I died first
So that you could take off the mask.”
“These holes in my hands,” he says softly
“They are for you.
They’re because I love you.
They are to give you a new life.”
His words ring in my ears.
I know that they must be true.
I put my hands on his, to touch his holes.
They are deep.
This man’s holes say that he was hurt.
That he bleed.
That he was laughed at.
That he must have felt alone.
Something in me screams.
Pounds. Kicks. Shouts.
Something in me yells.
“GO! Believe him!”
“But,” I tell it.
“I would have to take my mask off.”
It really is a nice mask. I tell myself.
Then I look back at his holes.
And that mysterious something wins.
I tell him, “I will.”
And reach behind me for the knot.
My hands feel clammy.
My thoughts are jumbled.
My fingers slip.
“This is crazy!” I think.
Then it’s off.
Clean, Fresh air shoots through my lungs.
By black and white world,
Is now full of color.
My rain has washed away.
My feet are dancing.
My heart is soaring.
My mind feels clear.
I thought my arms around this man.
“Thank You,” I whisper.
Tears pour from my eyes.
I now know the truth.
Before I was always alone.
My feet were chained.
My heart was broken.
But now my mask is off.
My mask is off.
My heart is free.
I am no longer alone and dying.
I am alive and loved.
Sometimes I find myself reaching for that mask.
I can’t destroy it,
Only the man with the holes can do that.
And he says that it’s not yet time.
Sometimes I find myself tying it on.
When my heart feels broken
That false comfort welcomes me.
Although I hate it, I still wear it sometimes.
I say, “I’m fine, How are you?”
When really my heart is broken.
I pretend that I’ve got it all together.
Then I realize what is happening.
“I don’t have to live like this!” I shout.
And with that, I tear the mask off.
And throw it across the room.
I remember that I am loved.
Cherished. Free. Alive.
I remember that I now have joy.
Peace. Love. A Savior.
I am not longer lost.
I have been found.
I am no longer chained.
I am free.
I see other people wearing the mask.
Even people who say that are free.
I try to tell them the truth.
But they-like me keep lying to themselves.
With that, I challenge you.
I beg you.
I plead with you.
Take off the mask.
The day is brighter
Jesus’ love is greater.
His comfort is superior
And his load is light and easy