mask-fearfulA smile’s attack on a failed attempt at vengeance. A soft kiss goodbye to an undeserving lover. A prayer said for an enemy, thanking them for making you stronger. These instances for me have proven that it is best to attack ugliness with beauty. 

(Yes beauty) Beauty can be a powerful weapon. It is the only way to effectively win against such relentless energy. Some say fight fire with fire, or in this case, ugly with ugly. That may be effective, but you become what you hate by doing so. Even if you win you lose, because your core self was changed. The goal of evil is not to win the battle of your flesh. The goal of evil is to win the war for your soul. For evil to succeed in that task, it must turn you into what you hate. Taking all that is natural or Godly from your spirit and turning into something synthetic, or man made.

Now then…

The Devil has his work cut out for him. It’s not easy to change someone’s core, even for someone who stays as busy as he does. So he often uses us to do his work for him. “Vanity is my favorite sin” said Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate” and though that quote may not be in the scriptures verbatim; the scriptures do say Vanity is like “Grasping For The Wind” This is probably why he likes it so much. Why would one grasp for the air, when their lungs inhale all the body could ever need? Why would one grasp for air when it is so hard to do with bare hands? (Try it)  Fear. Believing the lie that there is not enough air to go around. Or believing that somehow you deserve more air than the next person. Fearing that “they” are breathing air that is rightfully yours.

We are currently witnessing the dawn of a new culture of fear. Seems like we’re scared of everything and the media exploits that fear. (another story for another day) In my opinion we’re as scared as we’ve ever been. Follow… Many want to be recognized as special; living life fearfully that they may not be special at all. Gassed up from young ages to be rock stars, movie actors, princesses, presidents, highly paid athletes, share holders and tycoons. Growing ever disappointing when we find out were not. As if a humble fulfilling life is somehow a bad thing. Ironically, knowing deep down to their core that there’s only one them, and the “special” in them is in that fact alone. Interestingly enough, fearful folks have found clever ways to hide or “Mask” their fears. Turning any attempt to expose their fears into an attack on the seekers of truth. For example: Questions on the importance of monetary wealth or the moral compass of those who are well off are dismissed as “Haters” Clever lies and jingles are also made to mask this fear, such as: “If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense” or my personal favorite “People that say money isn’t everything don’t have any” We also have a culture and society that enables the fearful and also protects them. For example: Many jobs that have a “Human Resource” Department have policies where you can complain about someone anonymously. So the accused may never speak to the accuser face to face. This leaves the accuser with zero accountability and the accused walking on egg shells. As if a face to face meeting would not get to the truth faster and more effectively. So the “mask” is corporate in this case. The masks don’t stop there though. we have social media and state of the art technology. Folks are saying things they would never say in public behind the safety of the keyboard. The masks here are fraudulent personas, clever avatars and alter egos. Cats will even text you threats that they wouldn’t say to your face.

So where does this leave us. What consequences do we stand to have by hiding who we are? What repercussions come with believing we are something that we’re not. This leaves us unable to handle the truth. When we find out that we are not as special as we thought we were, we’ve got problems. When we find out that we’re going to have to put the work in like everyone else, we’ve got problems. The ego is shattered. The ego is inconsolable. The ego sees the truth as ugly. The ego wants to fight ugly with ugly. In doing so, the soul is lost. It has us fighting each other for crumbs, while kissing the ass of the folks who’ve dropped those crumbs on the floor to watch us battle. It has people doing whatever it takes to get noticed in the public eye. It has these young boys killing over nothing.

I write this in the face of a family tragedy. My dear brother was shot in his head, late Friday night and is holding on to his life in an intensive care unit as I organize these words. I too feel like fighting fire with fire. I too feel seduced by the many masks of ugliness. I chose art instead, for this is my testimony and thus my truth. I am about to hop on a plane to be by his side and pray for his recovery while I lay my hands on him. I say all of this to say we need a change folks. That change will only come when we stop living behind cowardly masks that cast fearful shadows over our faces…