Due to the current pandemic status, they are everywhere! Coloured, patterned, with slogan and without, with drawstring and elastic, including the ones that pull your ears out and make you look like a jug! (Or is that just me?!) Then there are the snood variety that warm your neck at the same time! We all must wear a mask these days!
Am I safe?
This is a massive question because feeling safe is a really important value and emotion for us. No-one wants to live unsafe, in fear, feeling vulnerable or exposed, so we will do whatever we can to ensure we will not be put in this situation. Right now, for many of us, that includes wearing the physical mask but perhaps we’ve all been wearing another ‘invisible mask’ for a long time; a mask that is so comfortable to wear we hardly know it’s been there for years.
This ‘invisible’ mask is so amazing it comes with superpowers:
• It protects us from being hurt
• It allows us to be invisible
• It stops others seeing what’s wrong with us
• It allows us to hide our true identity
Even though this super mask seems to protect us, it is, in fact, damaging us and stopping us from fulfilling our true potential, being authentic and living our lives to the very best.
A recent study concluded, ‘If you trade in your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief’.
‘If you keep on hiding your true self, your life becomes like slow death. Once you become free from the lies and the hiding of yourself your life becomes vibrant again’. (Ziggy Marley)
Jesus said, ‘Know the truth and the truth will set you free’. (John 8:32)
In other words, once we have put the false and fake stuff in our lives aside, and when we bring into the open the stuff we try so hard to hide, we become free to be who we are and live the lives we were created and destined to live. What a fantastic promise to live by!
Would you please take off your mask?
As a dentist, wearing the safety physical mask is part of my day-to-day life. I do, however, find it funny that some patients are surprised when I say, ‘Would you please drop your mask!’ It’s my invitation so I can help them, to restore what’s broken, to remove their pain and allow them to get on with their lives.
But there is a better invitation for true pain relief! Today, Jesus gives us an invitation to live in freedom from pain and shame, to live forgiven, to live clean, no longer slaves to destructive habits or to the opinions and expectations of others. He invites us to be restored and to live our lives, to the full, in friendship with Him.
So, would you please drop your mask? That choice is yours.
Ian Wilson is a dentist and an evangelist. He is also an associate of J.John and the Philo Trust.