I Get Paid To Wear A Black Muumuu

In one The Lizzie Bennet Diaries videos, one line hit me between the eyes: “Everyone’s wearing a costume every day.”

I know I do. Wear a costume, that is. It’s expected of me.

I call it my black muumuu.

Three people in black muu muus
(none of whom are me)

The thing is, people wear other types of costumes too, the kind we can’t see on the outside, the kind people use to mask their true selves from the world. Some even think they can hide from God:

Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” (Isaiah 29:15.)

They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” (Psalm 73:11.)

It doesn’t work:

Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24.)

Life Out In The Open

Jesus, the God who fills heaven and earth, lived his life right out in the open. His accusers, on the other hand, thought the cover of darkness would be their friend:

Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns. (Luke 22:53.)

I try to hide sometimes. I hide from my family and friends, I hide from people at work, and I hide from folks on the street or in restaurants or at the store. I do not always show them who I really am. Frankly, I don’t know what I can do about that except pray for God to open me up more and more to reflect Jesus and who he is in my life. Because that’s what it means to be a true person: I am who God intends me to really be because I am in Christ. And when I live my life in that truth, I join in Jesus’ ways and what was written about him:

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.

He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!

It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up. (Isaiah 50:7-9.)

The Sovereign Lord helps me, who will condemn? Whoever does is just going to wear out like an old moth-eaten sweater, tattered and ragged. Why should I hide myself from them?

Jesus, on the other hand, is forever, and if I’m going to wear something I’m glad it’s Jesus:

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27.)

Clothed in Jesus? That’s nothing to hide.


Questions to ponder: Do you ever hide behind a mask*? How do you handle it when you catch yourself doing this?


*Best mask photo I’ve seen in a long time. What a hoot!

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13 Responses to I Get Paid To Wear A Black Muumuu

  1. It must be nice to not have to worry about what to wear, Tim!

    My mask? I try to unburden through prayer and selective sharing with wise Christians with whom I can be real and do not need a mask. Then I like to put on joy as my mask because “the joy of the LORD is my strength”.

  2. Jeannie says:

    Last night I went to the first session of a Beth Moore study, “Sacred Secrets,” and I think it’s going to be a wonderful study. Your post fits in perfectly with that, Tim. And I think you’re right, that we need to pray to God to open us up to Him and to help us reflect His love in our lives.

    That’s quite the mask shot. Maybe the parents were just really wise and thought “Let’s pick our battles here — will it really matter in 20 years?” (And voila, in 20 years they’re featured in Awkward Photos! 🙂 )

  3. Hope says:

    Sometimes people mask their true selves from the world and sometimes people mask their FULL selves from the world. “No one has seen the Father . . .” (John 6:46) I see a mask (such as an alias) as something that can be useful for a season as long as I’m not using it to cover sin. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

    I like how you wrapped this post up with thoughts about being “clothed in Jesus.” When I put on the helmet of salvation, people see Christ instead of me.

    • Tim says:

      I completely agree about aliases: there is nothing inherently wrong with using one, and they can sometimes be quite useful at moving things along. Think of how Hamilton and company used them when writing The Federalist Papers, for example.

      Besides, as you point out the Lord’s eyes are seeing everything unmasked anyway!

    • Aimee Byrd says:

      Good stuff!

  4. Adriana says:

    Love this post, Tim. Love your honesty. We all hide aspects of ourselves! Partly I think this is a survival skill; It would just be too exhausting to go deep with more than a select few. My pastor asked me once how things were going between me and “so and so.” I said, “Great! — We have a great superficial relationship!” He smiled at this and said,” Well, sometimes that’s OK.”

    Since I read your post this morning, I’ve been singing this song to myself — so I might as well share it:

    • Tim says:

      Adriana, I love that conversation you had with your pastor!

      P.S. The video link tells me to go watch it on YouTube, so I’ll try to get over there to give it a listen at some point.

  5. caramac54 says:

    Have you read the book Glittering Images by Susan Howatch? It’s one of my favorite depictions of false self and true self …which I suppose is a wee little bit of what you’re getting at here. 🙂

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