Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace -- not in the infantile ... sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.
- James Baldwin, from his book The Fire Next Time
As my community has reflected on our shadows, ego and facade the quote above stuck me as the truth of the gospel in which we find our redemption in Love incarnate.
My shadow is self sufficient to a fault, controlling and isolated - and terrified that my independence makes me unlovable, a fear that has been confirmed by various people over the years. In an effort to hide my insecurity I mask myself in materialism. I am a bit of a snob and I really don't care much about anyone but me.
My true self is hospitable. I am a strong feminist that loves elements of domesticity. I grew up in Texas, hence I am a feminist that enjoys having doors held open, meals paid for, and jackets shared when I am freezing. I read cooking blogs and theology (I often find God in cooking/craft blogs more than in Christian blogs). My greatest desires are to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. I do not hide behind the masks of my own strength. It is in Love incarnate that I find the strength to be weak. I am vulnerable and capable at the same time. Created by a creative God: I am an artist, and a yuppy; a feminist, and a wanna-be domestic diva; a Christian, and a sinful mess seeking Holiness. I am an oxymoron, and I love it.
*photos courtesy of the amazing Melody Hansen, her blog is listed on my blog roll