HEELHEID-Week2-Dag5: Maskers/Masks

François Fénelon (1651-1715) het gesê…

Solank ons vol is van onsself, is ons geskok oor die foute van ander. Laat ons gereeld aan ons eie sonde dink, want dan sal ons genadiger oor die sonde van ander wees.

Jak 4:8-12: Nader tot God en Hy sal tot julle nader. Was julle hande, sondaars, en reinig julle harte, huigelaars. Bekla julle ellende, treur en huil! Laat julle vrolikheid in rou verander en julle blydskap in droefheid. Onderwerp julle in nederigheid voor die Here, en Hy sal julle verhoog. Moenie van mekaar kwaad praat nie, broers. Hy wat van sy broer kwaad praat of sy broer veroordeel, praat kwaad van die wet en veroordeel die wet. En as jy die wet veroordeel, handel jy nie meer volgens die wet nie, maar speel jy regter daaroor. Daar is egter maar een Wetgewer en Regter, en dit is Hy wat die mag het om te red en te verdelg. Maar jy, wie is jy om regter te speel oor jou naaste?

’n Jaar of wat gelede lees ek tot my skok in ’n koerant dat ’n gemeentelid in een van my vorige gemeentes van ’n verskriklike misdaad aangekla is. Hy is later skuldig bevind en ’n hewige vonnis opgelê. Terwyl die saak aan die gang was het ek dit op die internet gevolg. My gedagtes het terug gegaan na die tyd toe ek die persoon geken het. Ek het allerhande negatiewe dinge van die persoon onthou. In my eie hart het ek gesê dat die aanklagte my nie verbaas het nie. Dit pas mooi in by wat ek ervaar het.

Tog het my hart ook iets ander gesê. Wie gee jou die reg om so oor hierdie persoon te dink? Is jy beter as hy/sy? Wat hierdie persoon ookal gedoen het kan hom/haar nie van God se genade diskwalifiseer nie.

God se genade is nie soos ons s’n nie. Hy vergewe, maak heel, bou op en gee ’n nuwe begin. Uiteraard is daar slegs een manier om hierdie genade te omhels en dit is deur berou, skuldbelydenis en geloof (drie kante van dieselfde saak).

Daar is baie mense wat die pyn van gebrokenheid in hulle ronddra. Hulle weet dat God ons vergewe het, maar mense vergeet nie sommer nie. Daarom loop mense rond met die addisionele las van mense se onvergewensgesindheid. Agter hulle glimlag is die pyn van verwerping.

Stan Mast verwys na ’n gedig van ’n swart digter Paul Dunbar in die rassistiese gemeenskap in die tyd na die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog. Hy praat oor die pyn van disrespek en vernedering wat agter maskers weggesteek moet word.

We wear the mask that grins and lies

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

 

We smile, but, O Great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask.

Baie mense dra hierdie maskers. Slegs wanneer ons liefde die liefde van God weerspieël sal ons mense help om hierdie maskers te laat sak en om werklik heel mense te wees.

God van heling, maak ons so heel dat ons ander kan heelmaak deur u liefde te weerspieël. Leer my meer genade, omdat U my, sondaar, begenadig het, deur Jesus Christus ons Heer. Amen.

François Fénelon (1651-1715) said…

So long as we are full of self, we are shocked at the faults of others. Let us think often of our own sin, and we shall be lenient to the sins of others.

James 4:8-12: Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbour?

A year or so ago, I read with shock in a newspaper that a member of one of my previous congregations was charged because he committed a terrible crime. He was later convicted and given a heavy sentence. While the case was going on, I followed it on the internet and the details were gruesome. My thoughts went back to the time when I knew the person. I remembered all the negative things about the person. In my heart I said that the charges did not surprise me at all. It fits well with what I have experienced in his/her presence.

Yet my heart also said something else. Who gives me the right to think like this about this person? Am I you better than him/her? Whatever this person had done did not disqualify him/her from God’s grace.

God’s grace is not like ours. He forgives, heals, builds up and gives a new start. Of course there is only one way to embrace this grace. It is through repentance, confession of sin and faith (three sides of the same issue).

There are many people carrying the pain of brokenness around in them. They know that God has forgiven us, but people do not forget. Many people have to carry the additional burden of the unwillingness of the community to forgive. Behind their smile is the pain of rejection.

Stan Mast refers to a poem by a black poet Paul Dunbar in a racist society in the period after the Civil War. He talks about the pain of disrespect and humiliation hidden behind masks.

We wear the mask that grins and lies

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

 

We smile, but, O Great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask.

Many people wear these masks. Only when we reflect God’s love will it be possible for these people to lower their masks and to become the healed people that God intended us to be.

God of healing, heal us so deeply that we would be able to reflect your love that heals other people as well. Teach me to be more merciful, because you have been merciful to me, a sinner, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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