To anyone who wasn’t at Canvas Sunday, we had a bit of an unveiling. I shaved off my beard as part of the sermon illustration. It also keeps me good to my word that I would shave once I graduated. The attention was a bit overwhelming at times since I’m not one to be in the lime light much. And at other times it’s been enjoyable. I’ve found that with the beard gone some people who I didn’t much feel like talking to didn’t even notice me and walked on by. It’s got it’s perks.

One thing I didn’t know would come with it though would be how I feel when I look in the mirror. It’s an odd thing. I look into the mirror and I can only describe it as seeing only the things I don’t like about myself. I never realized these things were there or that they could be seen by looking at my face in the mirror, but they are in fact there. It’s been not quite 12 hours since shaving and I find myself avoiding mirrors. I think I’ve had facial hair for so long, it became a part of who I was and that persona, if you will, was a false self. One I had in place to keep my mind off of all the bad stuff. Now with it gone, it stares back at me.

These are the moments when this whole God stuff is put in the chamber and the safety is taken off. These are the moments when we have to fall back on truth and what we know to be true. As one of my favorite authors puts it this way, “When you’re in the dark, don’t doubt what God taught you in the light”. The fact is I’m a new creation, I’m a beloved child of the King of the Universe, and I’m loved beyond mortal words let alone comprehension. I don’t feel any of that, but feelings can’t be trusted in these matters. I have to stick to what I know and trust it. I might have to remind myself repeated in the coming months.

The hope is once the beard comes back, that it won’t be hiding anything. In fact, maybe I can form who I am and then become who I am with a facial accessory instead of a mask. Time will tell. Say a prayer for me and if you are experiencing similar feelings, let me know. I’ll say a prayer for you and maybe we’ll limp our way through this together.

Beardlessly yours
Brad McClain


2 thoughts on “Unmasked

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  1. Thanks for being so honest Brad. And I’ve certainly never had the feeling you were hiding anything (physically or spiritually)… so if you were… you hid it well.

    I’ve heard you say that one of the great truths about our God… is that he loves us regardless. How true! He loves us wih or without our masks (in whateverform they may be). So beard or no beard… I admire your character Brad… because you know your real identity is in Christ.

  2. I appreciate how you are confronting your feelings about yourself, being brutally honest. I admit, I was surprised to see what your face looked like without the beard, since I’ve never seen you without it! Thank you for the reminder that God loves us no matter who we are, no matter what our sin areas are.

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