I came across this article and I think it can speak to everyone reading.
I could certainly speak to the masks I wear and I know I wear them. But I wanted to speak about what's underneath the mask.
In the Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom wears a mask to disguise his scars and protect himself from the world that's been cruel to him. The climax of the musical is when Christine takes off the mask, is not afraid of what she sees and kisses the Phantom. No matter if someone is scarred in whatever way, I think everyone watching that scene yearns for that in their life - someone who won't be afraid of what's underneath the mask.
As much as someone should be working on taking on their masks, I think we should also be preparing ourselves when someone takes off their masks and shows us what's underneath. I've found these things to be helpful to keep in mind. Granted, I found these things the hard way, meaning I hurt people and made alot of assumptions and expectations I shouldn't have. So if you're reading this and thinking that this will be easy, it's not. It's messy, but hold on, there's more...
1. It takes alot of courage for someone to take off a mask. And if someone decides to shed the mask, take it as a privilege that they sense you are trustworthy and are taking a step to being known.
2. What you see underneath the mask is not the ugliest thing you've seen - what's underneath your mask is the ugliest thing you've seen.
3. When you do see what's underneath the mask, be ready to encourage and to encourage with the gospel.
I mentioned before that it can be messy so be prepared for the messiness. But the messiness I've found is not what I'm seeing underneath the other person's mask, but my reaction and response. My pride and arrogance get in the way and often cause the other person to put their mask back on even more tightly. My pride and arrogance work against the desire to know the other person mostly because pride and arrogance are the masks I wear to protect myself. When seeing someone else underneath their mask, I am reminded of my own masks and what I am protecting as well.
Sounds messy right? But then, by God's grace, I remember the gospel and remind myself that God saved a sinner like me and that through the gospel's power I am shedding the masks I wear. With this great work that God did for me in mind, I can be prepared for what's underneath other's masks and share with them the same great power that is working in me.