The room was decorated with balloons and the table was set beautifully. The smell of home cooked food floated through the air. I looked around at the guests in their fancy dresses, suits and, of course, exquisite masks. This was going to be one great masquerade party!
Everyone looked amazing. What I loved the most was seeing a piece of each guest's personality being expressed within their costume choice.
But among the fascination and excitement of a fancy dress party, I realised I could not recognise most of the people there, as each person was hidden behind a mask and covered faces. They knew who they were, but no one else did.
Masks are used to protect your true identity by covering your face. A mask disguises you and protects you from being discovered by the world. In superhero movies, the hero or vigilante usually wears a mask to disguise themselves to protect their true identity.
Although masks come in all different shapes, sizes, colours, patterns, themes and decorative options, they are always used for the same reason—to hide your true identity. In my personal experience, masks are not always objects to be seen, but do what it is intended: cover or conceal what someone is trying to hide or who the wearer truly is. A mask is a distraction from the truth.
When I was in primary school, most of the girls in my grade wore a metaphorical 'mask' in order to be popular or to be attractive. They were competing against one another to see whose 'mask' was the best, the brightest and the most appealing.
Feeling like I was stuck in the midst of this shenanigan, I found myself becoming more and more concerned about my own 'mask' and I started to worry about what other people actually thought of me.
As it consumed my 12-year-old mind, I found I was putting on my own mask each morning and becoming someone who I wasn't supposed to be. At that age growing up was tough and I felt like I was doggy-paddling my way to the safe zone of what I thought was my good and supportive group of friends.
It wasn't soon after that I started to ask, what exactly are we competing for? Was it just for the glory of what other people thought of us? To have the approval of our friends? Or was it to feel like we belonged? This only tore me down and I could not bring myself to compare the way I was created to how someone else was created. We are all so completely different and that is what makes us so beautiful. "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (John chapter 7, verse 24)
Comparison is the thief of beauty and of joy. God created us all to be equally beautiful in our own individual and magnificent way. As Jeremiah chapter 1, verse 5 says: "Before I formed you in the womb I knewyou before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
I understand it can sometimes be a hard thing to be completely comfortable in your own skin, but it is more difficult trying to become someone else.
But friends, take comfort in knowing that your God has created you specifically in the way he wanted you to be. He dreamed you up, every single detail of you, and he does not want his creation to be covered or masked by something that takes away all that makes you who you are. Having a personality is a special gift from God that defines your very being. Personalities give us a face, an identity. Why would I want to cover that up?
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." (Galatians chapter 6, verses 4-5)
Cartia Moore is a connoisseur of fine chocolate and a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She is currently studying a bachelor of arts majoring in drama. Her focus is film, television and sword fighting sequences. She hopes to graduate and form her own drama and acting school.
Cartia Moore's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html