“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” ― R.J. Palacio, Wonder.
Wonder is the inspirational story of Auggie Pullman that shows us what it looks like to overcome fear and grow through challenges. Auggie was born with a rare condition that left him with severe facial deformities and the need to endure dozens of surgeries throughout the years to help him to breathe, to eat, to hear and to try to help him look a little more ordinary as well.
When faced with attending school for the first time, after years of homeschooling, he admits he is “totally and completely petrified.” For Auggie, the fear of people seeing him with his unusual facial features and scars is scary so he wears a helmet. The helmet has become his escape, his safe place, a security blanket. He’s grown comfortable in it.
Maybe you have too. You grab your mask out of the fear that you will be rejected, so you don’t allow anyone to get close to you. You come to church and want everyone to think you’ve got it all together. You end up concentrating on the exterior more than the interior. On the surface you look great, but you’d never want others to know of some of the struggles you experience and so, like Auggie, you reach for the mask.
Psalm 139:13-14.says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” God knows the journey will be difficult. But just as it was best for Auggie to start school, God knows what is best for you. And what is best for you may require you to take off the mask. He may even ask you to take off your mask and depend solely on Him.
Here is the good news: If you believe that Jesus sees you, but loves you in spite of your scars and faults because he died to forgive you, then you’re life will be forever changed. You don’t have to lie to yourself about your flaws, faults, and sins. You no longer have to be afraid of what others would think if they truly knew you, either, since the Person who matters most of all has already loved and accepted you in spite of your sins. This means we no longer have to conceal our true identity from others.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Fear should never be a stop sign for the plans God has for your life. Don’t let your fears determine your destiny. That’s God’s job. Take a risk. Like Auggie, face your giants. It is faith that will enable you to overcome your fears.
- How/when do you find yourself hiding your true self from God? What would it look like for you to live openly before God?
- What are the obstacles to taking off our mask? What are the benefits?