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Lent Photo-A-Day (February 10 – March 27, 2016)

Day 40 — Entrance

This being Palm Sunday I’m very aware that this word should remind me of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passion Week. That is NOT the picture that came to mind, however. This is:

I had started this post before we went to church this morning, but after tossing my impressions of the word ENTRANCE out to our Sunday School class, I came home and scrapped what I’d written. It was interesting listening to their feedback, and though I felt what I had written reflected what I thought, it wasn’t quite “it.” Actually it’s STILL not “it,” and I can’t figure out why…

In the first post I was saying that we all have our masks we wear. We have employee or boss masks, parent masks, spouse masks, friend masks, and on and on and on ad nauseam. And sometimes I feel like when I come face-to-face with a person, out comes the mask that feels the most appropriate or (as the class pointed out) the safest and I quickly slap it in place along with the proper attitude.

I doubt in this life I will ever truly learn to live without masks. And trying to do so might not even be healthy. But I can strive to live as authentic a life as I can. And part of that is to be AWARE of just what mask I AM putting on when I make my entrance wherever I go. Is it the side of me I really want to present? That’s where I got hung up…

When I make my entrance at church, for example, do I put on my mask that says I’m super Christian and had a perfect week with my perfect family and my perfect cats, and “how are you, Mrs. Sweeney?”  What on earth do I think Mrs. Sweeney is going to say after seeing my mask? “Oh, I’m just fine, dear. Never better!” Then she’ll quickly scurry off to find someone she REALLY knows to tell them her husband had another mini-stroke this week, or she cried for hours yesterday because it was the anniversary of his death, or she just plain feels like crap!

I guess what I’m saying is, I need to stop at the stage door before I make my ENTRANCE and make sure my attitude and manner is an open and inviting one. If I can do that, my mask will be appropriate, and when I ask Mrs. Sweeney how her week was she’ll more than likely feel like I really want to know.

Is this something I need to practice just at church? Oh heck no! Learning to live an authentic and genuine life is a work in progress for me. The key, I suspect, doesn’t really have as much to do with my masks as I thought. The key is making sure that no matter where I go, I go open-handedly with plenty of love and grace to offer to those I meet. Maybe that way my ENTRANCE into someone’s life will be more than just “putting on an act.” And maybe, just maybe, they’ll invite me through the “stage door” into their life.

So many people ENTER your life,
but only few can ENTER your heart,
and stay there.
Rajendra Kumar


Picture Credit: www.nyhabitat.com