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Carnival masks – cool!

Carnival (also known as feast, Mardi Gras etc.) is something fantastic for children. They can finally be who they want to be: A pirate, a cowboy, a clown, or completely hidden behind a mask, in a costume, with a disguised voice: they can really make a ball of it. They can even be cheekier or braver than usual and if another child gets a fright, they might even a nice feeling of being strong. Despite this, it is still a deception. I am who I am. I am the person behind the mask and not what the mask appears to be. I am not the strong one, but often the weak one. I am not the clown, but often sad and not funny at all. After carnival, reality quickly comes back. The jester time is over.

We don’t just wear masks for carnival! Why?

We often wear masks in our daily lives and do not show our real faces. We often play a role, or are pressured into a role, it doesn’t matter whether in school, at work, in the family or in your free time. This is often called “putting on a good face”. Some cannot manage this very well and cannot hide their feelings behind a mask. These people are often tagged as a “wimp”, a failure and said to have no “resilience”.

The mask as protection

  • We do not want to run around as an open book.
  • We prefer not to show others that we are hurt.
  • We promise ourselves a bit of security.
  • We can present ourselves differently to how we really are.
  • We are anonymous, adapted and try to swim with the current.
  • We are sacred of being rejected if our friends see our weaknesses.
  • We are scared that our friends will recognise our guilt.
  • We are scared of losing face.

A lifeless mask, a protecting fallacy

A mask is something lifeless, dead, it stares like a dead mask. If I always have to hide behind a mask, that can be annoying and tiring. That can get to you, it can even lead to a breakdown. I am not myself anymore but a toy which people want to force into a specific role. I myself am dead. Lose your face (which is not possible just in passing) and win back your own face. You will notice that you are yourself once again: unmistakable, alive, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying and maybe even unprotected – yes – but real and unique. In the gospel according to Luke chapter 9, verse 24-25 it is written:

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

Jesus Christ looks behind every facade. He looks at your heart. That is the difference. To do not need to pretend in front of him. With him, you do not need a mask anymore.

People see what is before their eyes but the Lord sees the heart.

By the way, that was the annual slogan for 2003.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote the following poem:

„ ...Who am I? The one or someone? Am I this person today but a different one tomorrow? Am I both at the same time? In front of others, I am a hypocrite and in front of myself, a suffering contemptuous weakling? ... Who I am? Lonely questions tease me. Who I am, You know me, and I am Yours, o God! “

What is the face, what is the mask in your life?

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