Monday, February 4, 2013

I Don't Like That Mask

When Rachel was about three years old, she was very sensitive to certain parts of the culture here that do not come from God. One of these things is the barong masks that you see in many places around the island of Bali.

The barong is quite an ugly, fanged creature with bulging eyes that is supposed to be one of the “good guys” in Balinese folklore, as opposed to Rangda the witch, a creature who is even uglier. Whenever we passed one of these barong figures, Rachel would hide her face. "I don't like that mask!" she would cry.

Most Balinese children have become so used to seeing this character that they don’t think twice about it. But Rachel had not yet lost her sensitivity to it. 

Of course, I reassured her that it is OK not to like the mask, but she doesn’t need to be afraid of it. By now, at age seven, she has figured that out. She still doesn't like it, but it doesn't terrify her.

Even so, I really don’t want to expose her more often than necessary to things that are not of God...and there are plenty of things out there far more significant than an ugly mask.

I hope Rachel retains her sensitivity to things that are not of God. After all, Paul urges us to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.…(Phil. 4:8) 

Perhaps this is a good lesson for all of us. How many things around us really should bother us, but they don’t because we have we become desensitized to them? Maybe if we spent more time thinking about the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8, we could get that sensitivity back.

Adapted from newsletter20090518

What are some of the things around you that really should bother you...or your kids...but don't? What can we do to regain our sensitivity? Perhaps you have recently taken a stand on something. Perhaps you need to. Why not share your thoughts in a comment below?


  1. My kids are always saying things like "this show is not okay." It's a good reminder that I need to turn off the television and find something a little more family friendly. Kids are such good role models.

    1. Tell me about it. And when we don't take seriously the things they are sensitive to, we can inadvertently play a part in deadening that sensitivity.


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