Often, as now, old concepts become new when I review them from a different perspective. This I do here and jot a few notes to delve a bit deeper at a more convenient time.
Some time ago, I was privy to a discussion, the subject of which was the concept of “being real” in life and blogging. What I found missing in this concept of “being real” is a concrete definition of precisely what that means. One wrote a short example of what it means – to them. Some few agreed with the standard, but I found it lacking in real substance. It amounted to taking off an unfamiliar mask to reveal a more comfortable mantle one may find more familiar and graciously received in the public arena. The familiar guise is called “natural.”
I once read a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne years ago titled “The Ministers Black Veil.” Hawthorne is an author of 19th Century America who wrote stories set in 18th Century America and which had as their central themes a moral message, bible referenced. He is well known as an author of literary classics within the study of Early American Literature.
A concise synopsis of the story: A young minister in an 18th Century New England village enters the pulpit one Sunday morning wearing a black veil. Covering his face from forehead to chin, this was quite sudden and unexpected by his congregation. Without an explanation for the mantle, he begins his sermon, as usual, leaving the assembly with many private speculations to the meaning of the face covering. After the homily, no explanation is offered, and the veil remains as he leaves the church and is still present when he returns for evening service. In fact, the cover remains throughout the story without any exact resolution of the meaning of the veil. The story itself is a parable.
To the audience, however, the veil clearly intensifies the minister’s sermon on the subject of secret sin; some with weak nerves must leave the service.
When his fiancée Elizabeth asks Mr. Hooper (the minister) to remove his veil because there may be “whispers” that he hides “under the consciousness of secret sin” rather than the “type of an innocent sorrow,” as he claims, the minister smiles a sad, obscure smile and responds,
“There is an hour to come,” said he, “when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crape till then.”
My interpretation of the story was that to remove the veil would reveal a mask, also. As we all wear different faces for different occasions throughout our lives.
Therefore what shall be considered real? That which is most socially acceptable? Or that which Christ Jesus reveals to be genuine within us?
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
As a side note observation of a different subject:
It appears to me that God has reserved for Himself many more than Satan had reckoned. That evil one may hold off his ‘all-in’ attack on America, withholding the revealing identity of his ‘man of lawlessness’ for a time longer. However, his attacks of lawlessness may increasingly continue.This is not a prophecy. Merely an educated observation.
[ 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12]
[1 Thessalonians 5:8-11]
New Living Translation
“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”