Superman is a very interesting character. All superheroes wear a disguise so that nobody will know who the person is behind the mask. Superman’s disguise is a little different. He is disguised as a human. His real state is an alien from Krypton. Clark Kent is what Superman thinks about humanity–weak, bumbling, incapable.
None of us are superheroes, but I would venture to guess that ALL of us wear masks. Masks serve a powerful purpose. They hide our true identity, or at least we hope they do. Kirk and I came up with a beautiful scheme one Halloween to score more candy. We went trick or treating through our neighborhood, then we switched costumes and went again. Brilliant! It worked, so shut up.
I agree that it was a pretty ridiculous idea, but then masks in general give us a false sense of security. It doesn't take long to see through the disguise, and yet we insist on trying to keep our true identity secret. Unlike Superman, we are usually trying to cover up insecurities and weakness, or perhaps pain and regret. Sometimes it takes a traumatic event or just a big argument with your wife to rip off the mask. We are suddenly faced with the ugliness underneath.
I just watched "Return of the Jedi" the other night, and I relived the scene where Luke Skywalker takes off Darth Vader's mask. To be sure he was ugly underneath, but for the first time, he got to see his son with his own eyes, the eyes of a father, instead of through the lens of hatred and evil. Taking off the mask symbolized Anakin's redemption and return to the good side. His hatred and anger kept him alive physically, but it killed him spiritually. Ripping off the mask killed him physically but saved him spiritually.
Our masks hide our true identity, but the good news is that our identity can change. Jesus took a look at us and said, "I love you." One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 5:8.
"While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
He didn't wait for us to clean up our acts. He didn't ask us to be beautiful or sinless. He just walked up and loved us, de-masked and exposed for who we really were.
We have seen that masks serve a multitude of purposes, but it all boils down to the fact that we are trying to hide what is underneath. What about you? What are you trying to hide? What ugliness are you afraid will surface and ruin you? I would invite you to give God an opportunity to take off that mask, redeem your life and bring forth the beauty that comes from being in a right relationship with him.