It’s okay to take your mask off when you return to church.

It's okay to take your mask off when you return to church.

It’s okay to take your mask off
when you return to church.

The mask you’ve learned
to keep with you
at all times.

The mask put on by habit
in the parking lot
before going inside.

The mask you wear to protect
the one who asks you
how you are.

The mask that prevents
your neighbors and friends
from being exposed to the thing
that’s killing you.

The mask pre-printed with
everything you expect
everyone to expect
of you.

The mask that conceals
struggle and failure,
insecurity and fear,
guilt and shame,
weakness,
you

or so you think.

The mask that signals virtue
but suffocates your soul.

Behind that mask—

that useless synthetic barrier
manufactured from scraps of
counterfeit righteousness,
fabricated spirituality,
simulated strength,
and a faux smile—

you can’t breathe.

 

That mask is killing you.

 

It’s okay to take your mask off
when you return to church.

There’s something better
to put on.