The Masks We Wear

My husband and I moved to Michigan in August of 2020 and very quickly began attending a church in the area. Although we attend this church on a weekly basis we have not been able to get to know many of the staff or congregation due to COVID restrictions in our state. I have noticed that there is one guy who always welcomes guests and directs people to seats if needed. I thought I knew him, that was until this past week when he wasn’t wearing a mask. When we walked up he looked familiar but also very different. Why? First off, I have only ever seen him with a mask on, and second, that mask had been hiding a mustache the whole time. The fact that he had a mustache did not change anything about him, but it changed the image I had in my head of who he was. In other words, I had a false image in my head of what this man looked like and I had built a false understanding of who he was.

During COVID we were all encouraged to wear masks for the health and safety of ourselves and those around us. But if we are being honest a lot of us have been wearing a mask for much longer than that. It may not be a literal mask but many of us have been covering up who we really are by hiding behind something. For example, it could be the comedian that is always laughing and cutting up but is really hiding their depression. The high school athlete who seems to have it all, the grades, the girl, the car, and the scholarship but lives in fear of failure. It’s the housewife that puts on a good show for social media but turns to alcohol at night because she doesn’t feel good enough. I could continue with the list but I think you get the point.