This is an exerpt from the book; Isak Dinesen’s Seven Gothic Tales, “The Deluge at Norderney”
“Well, then,” said Miss Malin, “where in all the world did you get the idea that the Lord wants the truth from us? It is a strange, a most original, idea of yours, My Lord. Why, he knows it already, and may even have found it a little bit dull. Ttuth is for tailors and shoemakers, My Lord. I, on the contrary, have always held that the Lord has a penchant for masquerades. Do you not yourself tell us, my lords spiritual, that our trials are really blessings in disguise? And so they are. I, too, have found them to be so, at midnight, at the hour when the mask falls. But at the same time nobody can deny that they have been dressed up by the hand of an unrivaled expert. The Lord himself--with your permission--seems to me to have been masquerading pretty freely at the time when he took on flesh and dwelt amongst us. Indeed had I been the hostess of the wedding of Cana, I might have resented the feat a little--I might, I tell you, My Lord--had I there asked that brilliant youth, the carpenter’s son, in order to give him a treat on my best Berncastler Doktor, and he had, at the moment when it suited him, changed pure water into a far finer vintage! And still the lady did not know, of course, of what things he was really capable, being God Almighty."
"Indeed, My Lord,” she went on, “of all the monarchs of whom I have ever heard, the one who came, to my mind, nearest to the true spirit of God was the Caliph Haroun of Bagdad, who, as you know, had a taste for disguise. Ah, ah! had I lived in his day I should have played the game with him to his own taste, should I have had to pick up five hundred beggars before knocking against the Commander of the Faithful under the beggar’s robe. And when I have, in my life come nearest to playing the role of a goddess, the very last thing which I have wanted from my worshipers has been truth. ‘Make poetry,’ I have said to them ‘use your imagination, disguise the truth to me. Your truth comes out quite early enough’--under your favor, My Lord--’and that is the end of the game.’
I found this part the tale something to ponder, particulary I, who is continually seeking the truth. It is true the Lord already knows the truth of us, and how much I do like a masquerade of laying down the pretty things with paint and brush. Am I covering up the truth or creating my own? Today as Japan was struck with the biggest earthquake ever. Today as politicians covertly plan to take away our rights, or create another beautiful or fearful lie to justify killing. Today in America, children are going hungry. What mask is God hiding behind?
Our priest had a very short but consise homily about this Lenten Season; being a time to upgrade our system. Like a computer, when the window pops up to upgrade the system, we can either do it now or later. Often we hit the button, remind me later not wanting to take the time to deal with it at that moment. It is the same thing with us, we must take the time to reflect and change our patterns. We must stop what we're doing, slow down and reflect to eliminate some distractions that keep us from allowing God to upgrade our system. We can try to meditate on, this Lenten season, what is blocking or masking us from allowing God to unveil in us a part of ourselves that could truly make a difference.
Al Thomas had this to say as part of his blog, How to stay encouraged when everything else is falling apart:
Life in Jesus is easy when we recognize that He can appear in a vast array of disguises, ready to become visible in any circumstance or through any vessel. Jesus can be mistaken for a gardener (John 20:15) or a stranger (Luke 24:16). When we are in union with the Master, we will be amazed at how He will suddenly manifest Himself to us. The Lord will sometimes speak through the most unlikely vessels, like you and me.
I pray that I do not masquerade for long, that I take off the masks that stifle my vision toward Gad and in turn, reveal a little more of God, so that I have the wisdom not to hide, but to change; to change myself and the world around me. I pray that I do not grow weary, but that my faith is increased, equal to the task. Let me see the Lord in whatever vessel He chooses.