” We Wear the Mask”

The following poem( “We Wear the Mask)  is written by the talented and late Paul Laurence Dunbar.

” We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes- This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be otherwise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but O great Christ, our cries to Thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask.” 

Let me start by saying I really like this poem. It is so…truthful and raw. It states the reality of almost everyone’s life. We don’t want to burden anyone with our issues so when asked by a well meaning friend, ” How are you?” The response is usually the generic, ” Good, how are you?” Or if you’re feeling too grouchy to manage that, ” Fine.( a.k.a I’m not fine. I just want you to think that I am so that you won’t have to put up with whatever is bothering me).” Is that not true? We don’t want to let many, if any, people see us without this mask. What is the mask, you may ask? It is the expression on our face. We plaster a fake smile but on the inside we are crying out. Now this can apply to both girls and guys, but I’m going to take a step and personalize this for the ladies. Mask can also mean the makeup that we put on our faces. Most use the makeup to cover up the ‘blemishes’ on our face( as well as for artistic qualities). Now this is fine. But when you get to the point that you can’t show anyone yourself without makeup you know that you are relying on it too much. Ladies, I know that you want to look good. But realize that it’s okay to go without makeup once in a while. I don’t carry if you have acne covered skin or red skin or oily skin or whatever. There are some days when it’s okay to go al natural and let people see the real you. 

      I love that this poem does not just stop with stating the reality of most people. It goes to say that we can cry out to the Lord. He sees past the mask that we put forth. It doesn’t matter how well we try to hide it, the Creator of the Universe cares enough about you that He is willing to take you, junk and all. So don’t be afraid to cry out to Him. He knows what is on your heart anyways.