You know that feeling when you want to say something but don’t because you’re afraid it will be the wrong thing? It’s kind of like being in a caravan of cars and getting stuck at a red light. A little worried at being left behind, our foot hovers over the gas pedal so we can immediately go when the light turns green. The light turns green, and we press the gas pedal only to have the car sputter and stall. Heart pounding, thoughts racing, anxiety rising, we evaluate how to get the car going again. Meanwhile, the light turns red. Now we’re further behind the caravan. Drivers behind are now honking. We figure out the problem, hover over the gas pedal again, and when the light turns green, shoot forward, hurrying to catch up and not be left behind.

If only we hadn’t missed the first green light. If we had just been a little quicker to depress the gas pedal. If the light wasn’t so long. If the others had just, then we would have…

Even as I write I can feel the tension build inside me.

Being human can be a pretty scary thing. Living in a broken world with broken people, painful. So much of the way we value ourselves and regard others is based on being inhuman. Being able to control what we can’t, always having mastery over ourselves and our circumstances, not making any big mistakes, consistently living nicely, congenially, and with resolutions we like…these are often the foundation of our value.

Too bad we can’t accomplish any of it thoroughly, which leaves us living in a state of correction. This or that needs fixing, adjusting or reigning in. I’ll do better with…

And yet…it is this human form the Trinity made. It was human Jesus became. Not superhuman, but gloriously human. In His divine humanity Jesus didn’t come to correct our brokenness, but to show us what it looks like restored and healed. He came to show us what was intended all along…that we would be with Him, so joined in love that fear has no hold on any part of us. Even when we’re wrong. Even when we’re fallen. Even when we are gloriously inhuman.

That’s why forgiveness is so important. Forgiveness is not an event…it’s a way of life. It’s a state in which we live. There is never a time when, as a child of God, we are not forgiven. And what is forgiveness? It’s God saying, “I see you. I know who you are, and I want you…all of you.”

Forgiveness is not a correction, it’s an invitation to take off the mask of “have to be right.” It’s an invitation to be loved. And that might just be worth the risk of unmasking.

ACTION:  How do you require yourself to be inhuman? How might forgiveness change some of that? What might you look like?


  1. Curtis Fenz

    I Love it! I’ve been awaiting “unmasked” devotionals after living so long with our masks on.
    Pondering. 1 John 1:7 gets so overlooked. Walking in the light–fellowship with one another–blood of Jesus cleansing us (Like a well-programmed Rumba?) This way of life forgiveness you talk about promotes love, promotes fellowship -you have to love that . . but “a state in which we live” Wow. I find myself Pondering the simplicity and profoundness of that.

    • Ed Murray

      I echo your thoughts Curt. Looking forward to the possibility of sharing more of this kind of life together.


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Unmasking Real