What does your heart look like?
With Halloween behind us my question is: Who is still wearing a costume? Who is still wearing a mask? I’ve come to realize throughout the years that many people, most people, wear different faces. Not to be hypocritical or deceptive, but out of necessity, out of fear, out of a need to cover up.
You have seen it on Sunday mornings at least once, or you have done it yourself. The argument you have with your spouse or kids in the parking lot of the church or on the trip to church and then suddenly you step out of the car and there is the pastor (or Mr. Deacon or Ms. Busybody) and the first thing you do is smile.
“Oh! It’s a glorious day.” And there is that face. That mask.
Maybe at work you have been boiling over with frustration, but had to put on your customer service face, because otherwise you would lose your cool and possibly your job.
How about that person who actually finds that what their child did was quite funny, yet when having it explained to them by the principal of the school, they look stern, disappointed and like a disciplinarian.
The point being, if you think about it hard enough, you have seen the masks that people wear. You know the masks that you wear.
In 1 Samuel 16 we find the story of Samuel being sent to anoint the future king to replace Saul. As each of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem pass by Samuel, the Lord says to Samuel “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7.
It was David who was selected by God. The shepherd in the field. The youngest. A man with his own personal issues and a man who would become a great king, but also who would eventually sin and fall away from God. 2 Sam. 11 & 12.
Remember that though we may put up a front for others to either make them feel comfortable or to make ourselves feel less uncomfortable, we have a God who knows our hearts. We have a God we cannot hide from. Though we may “put on our church face” to hide our hurt, our pain, our anger, our disappointment, God knows what is in and on our hearts. Masks do not help us when it comes to our Lord. God already knows what is taking place in our lives and He welcomes us to bring it to Him.
I hope and pray that each person has the courage, the humility and the honesty within them to be vulnerable and open with our Heavenly Father. Our God who is less concerned with what we want to show in appearance and more concerned with what our heart looks like. No need for masks or facades.
REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.