Masquerade: What are YOU hiding?

 Part two in a series. To read part one click here.

Sometimes we hide out of a fear of the outcome. What will people think of me? we wonder.

Moses comes to mind:

Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him... Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished..."

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped...

Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant--the Ten Commandments.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. 
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 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
From Exodus 34

Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? ...We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 2 Corinthians 3:7-8, 13

Initially, Moses put on the veil because the "glowing" frightened the people, but once he realized that the radiance would fade in between his talks with the Lord, he would come out from the presence of God and speak to them unveiled, glowing face and all, and THEN put on the veil. It seems as if Moses was embarrassed for the people to know that the glory could fade. Maybe he wondered what they would say. They were rebellious enough already - would they see the fading and say that God's glory was leaving him? That God was removing His blessing on Moses as their leader? (Numbers 12:3 says: "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." He may have had a proper perspective of his own significance in relationship to God, but that does not mean that he did not suffer from the same kinds of fears of other people that we do!)

It can be pretty risky to make ourselves vulnerable - to say what we really think. It might rock the boat or cause someone to be angry.

This is a real fear for me. I do not like to rock the boat, and I really do not like people to be angry with me. I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember - because this is a fear based on experience. It seems that people expect me to always be accommodating and kind, so if I say what I really think about some things, people find it shocking. I've alienated people this way. I find that it is easier to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself - even avoiding relationships, than to be vulnerable and risk rejection.

And no one wants to be the only one who is vulnerable! So we all wear masks!

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Masquerade, paper faces on parade.
Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you.
Masquerade, every face a different shade,
Masquerade, look around there's another mask behind you...
Masquerade, stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you.
Masquerade, seething shadows, breathing lies,
Masquerade - you can fool any friend who ever knew you...
from Phantom of the Opera

But... Is hiding WRONG? Stay tuned for part three...


Sara said...

I loved this! It is so true, especially when we know what others expect of us and we also know we can't deliver it! It is good to be reminded to be real, even when that makes us vulnerable. Wise words.
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