For months now many of us have complained, strained against, ranted about, and generally disliked the practice of wearing masks! We wore them knowing that a.) we want to protect those around us as well as ourselves and b.) because the authorities over us asked us to. I’m not saying we did it with joy…but we did it…for 15 long months. Some countries are wearing them still, as yet another wave or strain of covid hits their people. Mask days aren’t over for them. But as of July 3, 2021, masks are no longer mandatory here in Hungary.

Oh, the feeling of relief! Joy! Freedom! 

Who knew we’d also feel naked, uncovered, and self-conscious? We got used to the protection of this scrap of cloth. Once so sure of ourselves, we weren’t prepared for that bit of doubt and inhibition we now feel when in public unmasked. Am I really ok to do this?

Inner-life parallels are just too obvious to pass by.

How often we don emotional masks under many guises—keeping ourselves safe (probably #1 reason), keeping others safe, covering up our “not enough-ness,” trying to look like we think we should so that…we will be wanted, chosen, loved, valued, regarded, belong, secure…the list goes on and on. We put on our mask and it becomes so familiar that when we dare take it off we feel incomplete, uncovered, exposed. It’s not a great feeling.

Why then, would we ever take it off?

Perhaps the answer lies in the quality of the Love poured out…no, lavished on us by God. David Fleming SJ said, “If our hearts could truly grasp what God is doing for us, how could we sin? We would be too grateful to sin.” 

Oh, to be that uncovered. That raw. That open. What might it be like to be so comfortable in what it means to be human, so confident in the eternal forgiveness of God, so at home in our own skin that we move towards Christ and others because of an awareness way down deep that we are not just wanted by God…we are with God and He is with us.

This is what unmasking accomplishes. It is that deliberate permission to let down our guard and be seen in our raw, uncovered form that shows the powerful movements of love. When we’re wanted like that, just as we are, with our fears, anxieties, blemishes, quirks and quibbles, then we begin to look different. Act different. Be different.

We begin to walk in freedom.

Who knew all that could come from taking off a mask?

As Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-10 (MSG): “…He picked us up and sits us down in the highest heaven in company with Jesus! Now God has us right where He wants us – beside Him, with Him…with all the time in the world to shower grace and kindness on us in Christ Jesus…”

ACTION: I wonder what would happen if we chose to let down one or two of our masks for a couple of days? What do you think you might look like?


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Keep It...Good: You Are What You Dwell On
Unmasking Love