Caring for Others Beyond the Surface

Remember years ago when those computer-generated pictures came out that revealed a 3-D picture, but only after staring into what seemed to be a jungle of random marks? They were called stereogram images. If you didn’t know there was something to be revealed beyond the surface, you might loathe the picture and never see anything more than a bunch of interlocking rings.

Ruthie and I are going through a devotional by one of my favorite authors, Bruce Main, called The Promise Effect—Altering the Universe By Being God’s Promise. A recent chapter contained a profound thought I’d love to share with you, because it has everything to do with everything.

A teacher on lunch monitor duty was approached by a student in the inner city Urban Promise school in Camden, NJ. The student was a usual troublemaker. He brashly pointed out that a certain teacher wore a wig. The monitor knew his statement was not true and reprimanded the student for spreading lies about a teacher. A bit later, the teacher/monitor was in the break room and saw the teacher who supposedly wore a wig. She inched near, took a closer look, and discovered that the student was right—she indeed wore a wig. The short of the story is that the teacher had cancer, and the other teacher was able to come alongside of her until she passed away just months later.

Our assignment for that lesson was to take a closer look. We all talk about playing church and we all hate the idea. Yet, do we continue to play church—just wearing wigs or masks and being content to only see the wigs and masks? Heck, I have learned that in some ways EVERYONE IS WEARING A WIG BECAUSE OF SOME FORM OF PAIN.

Are we used to seeing on the surface, judging on the surface, relating on the surface; while people, underneath their wigs, are crying out for somebody to care, or help?

May I pass our assignment on to you? Maybe right now, in prayer, God could put somebody on your heart to give a call. Don’t let them fluff you! Go to their heart—“What’s really going on underneath your wig?” Imagine if we all did this, every day—or at least every time we came to church. Inch up close and look for the wig. In light of this, I wrote a song—sorry, no melody yet:

Hey, take a look at me
Tell me, friend
Tell me what you see
Full of spirit, life, and free
Got my act together
Don’t you agree?

But take a little closer look
Turn the cover of my book
Inside reveals a heart of pain
Read a page and I’ll explain

Joking on the outside
Crying deep inside
Hiding broken places
Where once hope occupied

Each and every moment
Struggling to survive
Every moment feeling dead
Pretending I’m alive

I’m learning how to play this game
To hide the person I became

Inside a world that doesn’t care
Or maybe they’re just unaware

At the end of my tattered rope
Praying God to send more hope

A fight for strength to start anew
Somewhere I don’t have a clue

Don’t you see I’m holding
A mask up to my face
Watch my dance and see
The awesome style and grace

It’s easy to impress you
When you don’t see me deep
Down below my cute façade
And see the tears
I weep

Joking on the outside
Crying deep inside
Hiding broken places
Where once hope occupied

Each and every moment
Struggling to survive
Every moment feeling dead
Pretending
Pretending
I’m alive

As believers, let’s go behind the mask, underneath the wig, onto their stage, into another’s heart, to find the real person—and there find the reason to care.
God's people, look closer!

Comments (717)


LaVern Nazelrod 's picture

LaVern Nazelrod

May 08, 2017 05:39 PM

I totally agree. It sounds

I totally agree. It sounds just like me.

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martha yoder

May 08, 2017 07:50 PM

wearing a wig/mask

I so identify with this wearing a wig / mask thing.....! and encouraged to take a closer look and see beyond the mask and minister to the heart...so many broken peices that need mending.. i so needed this!! I really like the words of the song...thank you..

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