You Don’t Have to Be a Superhero

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As soon as the blue mask slides down his forehead and covers three-quarters of his face, my son disappears and before me stands Batman. Batman eats my son’s food, cuddles my son’s favorite blanket and plays with my son’s sister. But he will not answer when my son’s name is called. Or if he does respond, it is only to remind me that he is Batman.

I play along. But he doesn’t fool me.

He’s my boy.

It takes just one clock’s hand tick for me to pick him out in a crowd. I know every single cowlick perched in his tousled blond head. I know when his aqua-marine eyes hold mischief, delight or a mixture of each. I know his laugh, his gait, and his voice (even when it is disguised).

He can call himself Batman. He can fight bad guys and save damsels like Batman. He can stand erect with his hands on his hips and his cape floating around him, but still, he doesn’t fool me. I know him.

He’s mine.

Truth be told. He knows he isn’t tricking me. After all, he doesn’t dress up to pull the wool over my eyes. He’s dresses up to play a role. He dresses up because when you’re three, it is fun to pretend that you’re someone else. Someone heroic. Someone strong. It’s also healthy.

And when you are slightly (mild throat clearing inserted here) more than three decades old, it is sometimes fun to pretend that you’re someone else too. Someone who is strong … invincible even. Someone who can solve unsolvable problems.

Someone who owns a heart immune to

chipping


freezing

rusting

But when you’re a grown up, it is not healthy to assume a whole new identity. It is not good for the soul to hide away from reality. It is a sign of insecurity and not strength to mask weakness and not answer to your own name.

Yet still, I do it. I pretend that I am capable of handling anything that comes my way … all by my little self. And sometimes I get so wrapped up into the role in which I inhabit that I do not even respond to my own name when it’s whispered by Him.

It’s almost comical, because I know I’m not fooling God. And honestly, I’m not trying to fool Him.

I’m trying to fool myself…trying to hide away from truths about myself that can be painful to accept … painful to examine … painful to change.

But even when I hide, my Father knows me.

He calls me. He helps me untie my cape and remove my mask. He forgives me.He encourages me.

He lends me His Strength.

He loves me. I am His.

This post was originally published at (in)Courage on March 5, 2011 and is now featured in Dawn Camp’s lovely new book, The Beauty of Grace.

Having my words BoGcoverprinted in Dawn’s lovely book truly blesses my heart and makes me pinch myself to see if I am dreaming! The book combines heartfelt stories from some of today’s most popular writers with Dawn’s stunning photography of God’s incredible creation.The book makes a wonderful gift and also serves as wonderful devotional when you’re looking for soul rest.

I’m also thrilled that Dawn selected the post of mine that she did. The message of being tempted to hide who we really are is especially relevant in our social-media saturated culture.

We see the glossiest, happiest pictures on Instagram and Pinterest and read one success story after another on Facebook. Honestly, I think all of that can be wonderful. I love to celebrate the beauty that shines forth from the stories others tell. But if we aren’t careful, we could fall pray to the comparison trap and start longing to be more like someone else.

I wrote “Mask and Cape” as an encouragement to you … a reminder that even if you get caught up trying to be like Kate, or Christy, or Natalie, that God knows you. You’re His. He loves you deeply and is thrilled when you take off your mask and show the world the woman he designed.


 Q:

Are you facing any circumstances that make you want to assume a new identity?

How do you escape when you life gets tough?

And, what motivates you to take off your mask and cape and be real before the King?

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