There’s something more captivating about one picture of a star without makeup than all the paparazzi’s red carpet photos combined. What is it that makes the headline “Stars Without Makeup” such a common theme in modern media? It’s the opportunity to see beyond the air-brushed mask of idyllic glamour into the reality of what these stars really are…human.
Sometimes while standing in the checkout line, I catch a glimpse of a de-glammed star photo and something tugs at my heart. Compassion, maybe. I feel for that person behind the mask who lives in a prison of luxury, shackled to the trappings of fame—a slave of the ever-watching world..
If you look closely enough, beyond the smiles on even a glammed-up photo, you’ll see the sadness. The emptiness. The loneliness and disappointment. The toll that stardom has taken on a mere mortal. It’s something reminiscent of the story of King Midas, who in his lust for gold lost all that really mattered to him.
This looking beyond masks applies to us regular folk, too. We all wear masks sometimes. But the trained eye of true love can see beyond.
There was a woman on the run, in the desert, fighting for her life and that of her son. God met her in the desert with a display of tender compassion that nourished her soul and brought her back to life. There, in her deepest place of desperation, she bestowed this name upon her rescuer: “The God who sees.”
He sees into our hearts—our deepest places of darkness, and loves us still—bidding us to discard our masks and come as we are. Empty. Broken. Yet free. True love SEES.
“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)