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Our culture likes to have pretend intimacy. Our waiter says, “Hello. I am Bob. I will be your server tonight.” I wait for him to wash my feet, he is so genial and chummy. Perhaps next he will show me snaps of the wife and kids to bring our relationship to a new level. Our President is frequently referred to by people who would faint if they ever saw the Oval Office as “W” or “George.” Students call the President of my University by his first name to his face. As a gentleman and scholar, Dr. Cook lets them do it. He does so because he is a gentleman, but when did the rest of us decide to become overly familiar? It is a rule of the modern age that nothing is private, except religion, and every topic is fair game in your personal life, except positive expressions of Christian belief. Anything less would be “wearking a mask.”No college student wants to wear a mask. They fear them thinking only that mask wearing shields the hypocrite and the cad. They forget that masks may also veil intimate things or things too great for us. Moses veiled his face in order to hide the Glory of God that made folks afraid, not to hide sin. Everyone needs a few close friends who know the truth. Donne is right about men and their relationship to islands. No man is an island, but men should be a pennisula, not the plains of Poland, open to any invader. Our hearts must be guarded with careful access to just a few. False intimacy can check the growth of deeper relationships. Instead, we have many friends we would tell “anything,” but that we usually nothing. Otherwise we open hearts to men who would use the information to spiritually manipulate. We need fewer friends, but deeper ones. Masks do a great deal of good. Paradise will make us all healthy, but we are only in process today. We are becoming like Christ now, but aren’t there yet. God does not tell us much about ourselves and others. Why? He has this odd notion that our religion should be centered on Him and His intersts. This Christ-centered faith will make us utterly lovely. That is just the problem: God wants us to love each other as we are. However, who we are now is full of sin. That is sad and horrific. Until then, let’s shield our faces. Our emotional lives are too private, too glorious and too ugly, for promiscuous public consumption. Wear a veil on your heart that you pull aside for only a trusted few. . . until we can behold Him with unveiled faces.

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