Anyone that knows me in the slightest knows that I enjoy growing a beard and I have profound respect for all facial hair. That being said many do not know beyond a shallow level as to why I began growing my beard. To be honest I didn’t really know why until a spontaneous shaving this summer. On all of my IDs I am shaven which when I show them to people often result in disbelief. This past summer the camp staff with which I worked experienced the same disbelief and so to turn them into believers I shaved. They immediately believed in the validity of my IDs but this innocent stroke of a razor revealed a great deal about me. I started to lash out at my friends in preemptive strikes. My beard became a convenient mask to hide the scared boy inside of the bearded man everyone saw. As long as people were talking and asking me about my beard the less chance I would have to show my insecurities. As my beard became weird I found it ever so easier to hide everything I feared.

            When you grow up a 5 ft. nothing and 130 lbs. soaking wet guy you learn quickly that you do not fit the mold.  In fact it would take two of you to fill the mold. Throw in the fact that family get gathering usually involved the young boys wrestling the family marine, there seemed little room for a boy my size. In high school I got involved in a pretty serious relationship that lasted a year and half and ended in a cloud of deception and infidelity. I grew up with my family, romantic involvements, and world telling me I was not what a man was supposed to be. This left its mark. In high school I worked in to food industry so I had to keep myself clean shaven so in order to hide my inadequacies I developed a different personality. He had a name and oh man was he smooth, confident, and goodness was he a great Halloween mask for my broken and fragile soul. Most people dismissed this alternate persona as something silly I was doing but I tell you the truth he was real. People’s dismissal only made the guise easier to assume, which made it easier to abandon his name. I still felt like Vince only a more confident Vince all the while refusing to see the brokenness in my heart. In college I came face to face with my failures freshman year. It wasn’t long before the masks I had made weren’t enough to keep out the dark thoughts of suicide. I was hiding was hiding my brokenness from those closest to me. I don’t know what it was really but I decided to join a Bible study, I wasn’t even a believer. It was through the friends I made there that I met a God that didn’t require anything from me to gain his love. I met a God that was able to see past my brokenness to the beautiful son he created me to be.

            I’m still not sure if I am totally comfortable with my own skin. Now going into ministry I feel the pressure to be perfect. Most times I feel as though there are too many friends, family, and strangers depending on me to be a witness to fail. It is hard for me to come to grips with the fact that I constantly serve a perfect God imperfectly. So a lot of the time I put on my masktache distracting people from my doubts and failure. I pray for the courage to let people see what the cracks of my smile hide. The hardest thing to do is to be real with others, yourself, and God.

Definiton: a Masktache is something you “wear” i.e. a mustache or mask, which distracts people from seeing the real person beneath it. (This term is not Gender specific) (Also can be used as both a noun and a verb)

Example: “Bro you’re totally masktaching right now, shave that thing and let me know what’s really going on.”

Application: Shave a Masktache that you have been wearing and show a friend the real and messy you. Also ask somebody to keep you Masktache accountable.


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