It seems to be a week to remember old conversations.
This one was with a friend and a colleague. Again about 11 years ago. We were discussing leadership. He was expressing some disappointment in a public figure’s actions. I can’t remember the exact event, but he was, at the very least, disappointed. I said something like, “Yeah, but in [a contrasting rhetorical situation], you should see him. He’s gregarious, funny, gracious. He’s completely different. A really great guy!” My friend said, “Yeah, but there shouldn’t be a difference at all!”
My friend was right.
We just came back from Gattitown with the cousins and the g’-rents. Fun and over-stimulation for all. Isaac wore his dinosaur shirt, last year’s sweatpants (that finally fit him), cowboy boots (on the wrong feet with no socks), and his brother’s Spiderman mask. 🙂 We all knew it was our precious preschooler behind that fiercesome mask. He finally tossed it when he had trouble breathing and seeing and had to get down to eating and playing.
When I was in kindergarten, I was a clown for our Halloween costume parade at school. I wore a mask. I don’t know why I wore a mask since a painted face would have worked. I probably just liked the idea of wearing something completely different on my face. We walked from class to class. And my mask got bumped and twisted. I didn’t want to ruin the illusion of it being just a mask by reaching up and fixing it!! No! I had to keep up appearances. So I left it. Twisted. While I got tossed around like flotsum in a sea of elementary school kids. I ended up with the big sixth graders! Yikes. Until someone grabbed me and led me back to my safe little classroom.
As children of the King, any mask we wear makes us uncomfortable. Any mask puts us at risk of losing our way since we’re more concerned about the illusion of a happy clown face than the reality of being a lost little kid. It’s when the illusion breaks that we can really get the help we need too. As God’s children we just don’t need the mask. We don’t need to be one thing publicly and another at a distance. We’re the same in both places — undeserving but redeemed childred of God.
I hope my friend remembers that too.