Happy Halloween! – What’s Behind Your Mask?

Happy Halloween!

Sorry if I just offended you.  I hope you’ll keep reading.  I grew up enjoying the fun of trick or treating in costume.  My parents sorted out my candy when I arrived home.  And I overindulged in candy for the next several weeks.  We carved pumpkins.  And we participated in the school Halloween parades.

Part of this left a scar on me – I was a flower and flower-pot in 4th or 5th grade.  I’ll never live this one down.

In 3rd grade, I was a Mexican – not a politically correct move these days.  One year, I was a box of corn flakes.  And I was a pretty scary ghost in 1st or 2nd grade.  (I’m sure my parents could dig up pictures of some of these costumes.)

My kids are excited to dress up for Halloween again this year.  We carved pumpkins (as you can see above).  And we’ll probably eat more candy than we should.

There’s something we all enjoy about dressing up in costume and wearing masks.  It doesn’t just happen on Halloween.  It happens every day – at work, at school, and even at home.

You don’t believe me?

Look in the mirror.

Can you see what I’m talking about?

At one point or another, we all pretend to be someone or something we aren’t.  As guys, we try to be ultra macho or super intelligent.  I think many women dress up in an effort to appear glamorous or easy.  Sure, I’m generalizing a bit.  But here’s the deal.  Most of us are hiding something.  We’re covering up the fact that we have issues.  We’re covering up some kind of perceived flaw.  We’re trying to present ourselves differently than we really are.  It’s like Halloween everyday!

Maybe it’s time to take off the mask – to leave the costume behind.

Maybe it’s time to practice transparency.

Maybe it’s time someone in your life knows the true condition of your heart.

I know it’s not easy.  I know it takes courage to expose yourself this way.  I know it’s even scary.

What will people think?  Will people still like me?  Will I still have friends?  Will I be accepted?

But give it a try.  I think you’ll find freedom.  I think you’ll find grace.  I think you’ll find a love unexpected.

God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Psalms 139 (The Message)

Why are you hiding?  What are you hiding?  How has it helped you to test the waters of transparency?

On a lighter note, how do you spend October 31st?