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Beyond the Mask

A New Heaven and a New Earth

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Beyond the Mask

I look and see faces covered

Masks cover smiles and frowns

So much is hidden behind cloth

As we protect ourselves and our neighbor from the unseen horrors which have separated us in so many ways

Ways which were known but hidden

Realized but never spoken

But alas the mask has seemingly ungagged the worst in so many

In our fear divisions which we had covered up in superficial ways have been exposed

And our worst angels have in many cases been released

Yet if you move beyond the masks you will find the windows of the souls

Perhaps now even discovered in clearer focus

The eyes are uncovered and vibrant

They tell so many stories

They tell of loss and hope

Of rejuvenation and deep fatigue

Of love and grief

Of laughter and tears

Of pain and promise

Some have longed to see others

And others are fearful of what they might find

They fear seeing the unseen illness and death

Which they worry might find find them or worse yet someone they can only see with the eyes of love

Sadly some eyes are angry

Their eyes burn with stories of shattered promises and a lifetime of disappointment

Some eyes lash out in rage

Furious at everything that has hurt them

And fearful of all that they have been taught to despise

Of reflected pigments and skin which they don’t understand

Of lives they have never experienced and of beliefs and values they have been taught were wrong

They see others not as God sees them but as sin has taught them - as evil

Yet even in these eyes if you gaze deep you see that

their eyes reflect so much brokenness

And a deep want to be made whole

Other eyes show the struggle of one seeking justice

Of one who sees the world as it could be and asks why it is not

Their eyes too are often tired

Tired of asking O Lord how long to your promised day

They believe in a hope they have only glimpsed

And in a day they have only seen in the eyes of a dream

Oh God may we all be mindful that in your eyes we are all precious

May those who are blinded by hate have their eyes opened like Bartameus

May those whose eyes see visions of peace never lose focus in the days when they are tired

May all of our eyes be lit again with a passion to love You our holy Creator and to love others

May hurts be healed

May fears be calmed

May hate be transformed

May peace be realized

And behind the masks may all of our eyes look at one another with compassion

And find joy even in the hard days and dark nights

So that as morning comes and we remove the masks

Wiping away the final tears

That we might all see the rainbow that proclaims the truth

That evil cannot mask





Clay Gunter

July 29, 2020

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