hides the truth;
assaulted and exploited,
Imprisoned by fear,
she longs to cry, to feel,
instead, she smiles.
So many times we are like the woman in the poem. We wear a mask; a mask to hide the pain of rejection, abandonment, failure, shame, performance, and perfection, to name a few. Other times, the openness to share the truth about ourselves with another person, results in neglect or ridicule. So what do we do? We put back on the mask. We smile, or joke, when inside we are dying. Until … someone who truly makes us feel safe crosses our path.
Like the Samaritan woman in the Bible (John 4), Jesus crosses our path and offers us a new way of living, a drink from a well that will never run dry, but will quench our every longing. Stepping back we try to keep our mask firmly in place, until he reminds us we are loved and safe. Jesus tells us, as he told the woman at the well, we can’t hide from him. He sees and knows us better than we know ourselves.
Psalm 139:15, 16
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Jesus knows us just as he knew the Samaritan woman had five husbands and was currently with a man who wasn’t her husband. Like the woman at the well, he doesn't shame us, or ridicule us, or make us feel less than. He simply offers us something better. A love that will meet the need we are searching to have met, a need that can't be met by a human being. Jesus offered the woman, and offers us today, himself and, like the woman, we have a choice to make ... do we believe?
Do we believe he can love us when we feel so unlovable? Do we believe he can give us the strength to overcome life’s difficulties, when we feel so battered and torn? Or, will we put on the self-sufficient, don't need anyone mask? Do we believe he offers us abundant life today and into eternity, when we only see life from a human perspective ? Do we believe in him enough to take off our masks and trust he will bring healing?
I believe but there are still times, I battle with not wearing a mask. However, I try to remember that I long to live my life without hiding and by removing my mask I allow others to feel safe to do the same. Ultimately, I hope, through my eyes, someone finds Jesus staring back at them. How about you?
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