I’m happy to introduce guest-blogger, author, and dancer Laura Padgett today. Expression is her forte! Can you relate with her take on masks? Be sure to comment below for entry into a drawing for Laura’s devotional book, Jesus in Shorts – a great play on words!
I performed the dance in a mime costume complete with a white, expressionless mask covering my face. Audience members depended upon my movements to tell a story. The music had words. But I portrayed someone who felt safer expressing those words from behind a mask.
At the conclusion of the piece I hurried back stage, removed the mask and sighed, “Ahh, now that’s better.”
There are a number of factors that make wearing masks difficult. Peripheral vision is diminished. Obstructed vision limits perception of personal space. That limitation can impair balance, causing the wearer to proceed with caution in an attempt to avoid injury.
But despite the drawbacks, a mask sometimes provides something that many (like the little mime) crave – safety.
In the months since that performance, I’ve tried to notice how many times I subject myself to the tiresome endeavor of being in disguise. Often I don’t present my authentic self for fear of rejection or disapproval. This may be due to lessons I learned as a child, or memories ingrained as I danced with life’s disagreeable experiences over the past six decades.
It can be hard to recognize when I’m restricting vision, compromising balance, and making my journey a tedious march through obstacles, perceived or real. Many days it’s just plain easier to don the mask, be what others expect and move with calculated caution through life. Those are the days when it’s evident I’ve strayed from the assurance of God’s love.
I’ve learned that the closer I walk with the Lord, the more I find deep peace in the truth that He accepts me just as I am. Any mask I attempt to wear is invisible to Him anyway.
I prefer to never feel restricted or unbalanced by not being my authentic self. When I do find myself in those situations, however, I can rely on the knowledge that I have a place to turn for rest and assurance. I can remember the One who always welcomes me with acceptance and love, beyond pretenses.
I look forward to, and am grateful for, the times when I sit down with my Heavenly Father, sigh in relief, remove the masks of the day and say, “Ahh, now that’s better.”
Come to me all you who are weary… (Matthew 11:28 NIV).Remove the masks. Click To Tweet
Be sure to comment below for entry into a drawing for Laura’s devotional book, Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments. Winner will be randomly chosen from commenters on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
Laura Padgett holds an MA from Regis University in storytelling and dance. She holds several medals in dance and awards for writing. She is the author of two nonfiction books, Dolores, Like the River, and Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments, as well as several pieces in anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul. She writes a monthly blog, “Livin’ What You’re Given” (found on her website lauralpadgett.com) where she shares stories of inspiration, transformation, and encouragement for others to find/share their gifts. Laura lives in Lakewood with her husband, Keith, has three children and three grandchildren as well as multiple grand dogs and cats.
(c) 2019 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.
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