Unwrapping a Sweet Lesson
By Janet Perez Eckles
I opened the front door. "Yikes! You scared me," I screamed feigning fright. "Who's that?" I peered down at the three-foot little person.
He wore a mask framed with wild hair, black and purple. A huge lumpy nose, droopy eyes and a mouth revealing jagged teeth gave a new meaning to the word 'ugly'.
A muffled, "Trick or treat" wafted from behind the mask.
"Goodness, you really scared me." I chuckled as I dropped hard candy into the orange plastic pumpkin.
Those are memories of times my little boys also dressed in strange costumes, and dashed from house to house with their daddy trailing behind. I stayed home greeting the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.
But now, years later, Halloween masks resemble those I try to slip on. They come in handy to cover the real me.
When people ask me how I lost my sight, I give the routine answer: "A retinal disease deteriorated my retina and took my sight."
A simple answer to a simple question.
When asked about how I dealt with the unexpected tragedy, that's a different story. I'm tempted to pull down the mask over my heart and give a bland answer.
"It was tough at first, but in time, I adjusted."
But underneath that mask, is a whole different script with the real answers: "I wanted to die, I hated my life, I wanted to give up, and wondered if my little boys would survive with a mommy who couldn't see."
Then God's Word nudged me to remove that mask and allow the glow of truth to shine through.
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Proverbs 12:22
In obedience, I resolved that when asked a question, I would give information reflecting what truly stirred in my heart.
Here are the results: when my words are strung with honesty without omissions, deletions or embellishments, I can breathe easier.
When the mask is off, the air is fresher and the view is clearer.
When it comes to sharing my feelings or relating events in my life, I've developed a motto: Don't omit the negative nor squelch the positive.
Not long ago, a good friend called and asked about my writing. I started to blurt out that it was great, moving along fabulously, and my agent is working on my behalf.
Gulp. masks are stuffy, binding and often ugly. Instead, I decided to slip the mask off. And with conviction, the truth shines—although my agent is working for me. I'm furiously laboring on the first edit. Writing a novel is grueling. It's demanding. And at times, the work is so hard that it makes me wonder if I'm really supposed to be doing this.
Ah! The feeling of telling the real scenario with honesty is like opening the window to a stuffy room; letting the fresh Spring breeze come in and caress your face.
While our little ones dip into that candy, the sweetest thing we can unwrap for them is the lesson to speak the truth. The trick is to obey God's Word and the treat is the image reflected in the mirror that sparkles with honesty.
Copyright © 2012, Janet Perez Eckles, used by permission.
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Although blind, Janet Perez Eckles has been inspiring thousands to see the best in life. She is an international speaker, writer and #1 bestselling author of Simply Salsa: Dancing without Fear at God's Fiesta, Judson Press 2011. www.janetperezeckles.com
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