“He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” (George Orwell) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently.
To some extent we all wear masks, which are the “faces” that we show to the public. For some those benign looking masks hide the ugly truths of hate or bigotry behind them; for some the masks are displays happiness or loud self-confidence that really hides the fears and insecurities of the wearers. What mask do you have on?
As Jack mentioned in his post, some of the characteristics of the face that we present to the public is the result of our upbringing. Motherly advice like “play nice and share with others” may have added a characteristic to our faces; or perhaps dad’s advice to keep a stiff upper lip and never cry in public has shaped our faces. Many men were taught to be stoic and women to be pleasant as they were growing up, so those are the masks that they wear. Some times that pleasant demeanor hides the pain of an abusive relationship or a loveless marriage. What mask do you have on?
When Jack made the post to his blog about this quote he added – A certain church urged its members to be the face of Christ to others. How’s that for a mask? Think about that for a moment. What would the mask on your face look like if it were a mask of the face of Christ? How would the compassion and concern and caring and love that Jesus showed the world, even from the cross look as a mask upon your face? Would things look different to you if you looked out through that mask? Would wearing that mask make you act any differently? Would you, indeed, grow to fit the mask? What mask do you have on?
Every morning when you get up you have a choice to make about the mask that you put on for the day. Women even have a saying that they are “putting on a face”, when they are applying their makeup. My wife every now and then will say to our dog Skippy, “Help mommy put on a face”, to which (if I have overheard that) I will chime in with, “Choose a happy one.” You could certainly assure that you would have a happy face on if you choose each morning to put on the mask of Christ for the world to see – a caring, compassionate, loving, giving and helping face. What mask do you have on?
A really good public speaker that I listened to some time back pointed out that most of us have no idea what our own faces look like when they are at rest – when you aren’t trying to smile or show any emotions at all. Our faces have a natural tendency to droop into a frown or to assume and unfriendly continence. The mask that comes over our faces is not inviting to others and we aren’t even aware of it. Perhaps if we did put on the mask of Christ in the morning, we would have enough to smile about all day long not to let our faces droop into that unfriendly mien. So, before you go out every morning this week, ask yourself – What mask do you have on?
When you put on a face in the morning, put on the mask of Christ and have a great and happy looking week ahead.