Then she took Esau’s best clothes—they were there in the house—and instructed Jacob to put them on. And she made him a pair of gloves from the hairy skin of the young goats, and fastened a strip of the hide around his neck; then she gave him the meat, with its rich aroma, and some fresh-baked bread. Genesis 27: 15-17
Halloween is the time when many children are masquerading as all sorts of characters. No matter how you celebrate this fall tradition, it typically involves a costume: a disguise that helps to hide your identity. For some, there is an element of freedom in this masquerade.
But is Halloween the only time we hide behind a mask? Of course, I am not referring to the masks we wear as a part of the Covid protocols, but the facades we create and maintain when we leave our homes. It’s not as obvious as a superhero, but it can be as effective in hiding our true selves.
There are many examples using disguises in the Bible. Most were intended to mislead others or hide the truth. The story of Jacob is one of them. With the help of his mother, he intentionally dressed up like his brother Esau to deceive his father and receive the family blessing. The ruse was successful and changed the course of history, for Jacob then became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel (Check out Genesis 27).
We may think we are not being deceptive with our use of masks. We justify these facades to conceal our vulnerabilities and protect us from trusting others. Some people label this our public self and private self. However, these disguises act as a shield and limit others from growing too close. Whether we are covering up insecurity with a mask of confidence or depression with cheerfulness, we are never really allowing others to know our true selves. But God sees through any disguise we might wear. He sees our true self and desires us to trust Him enough to reveal our deepest hurts, shame, and challenges. He is there to forgive and love us. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. Psalm 65:3.
Help me to remove any masks I may try to use to hide from you and others. Give me the strength to expose my true self to those who love me. Help me to love others well enough so they can remove their masks and experience the healing freedom of trust. Amen