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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; The Masquerade

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Salt of the Earth

Never a masquerade.

Never a masquerade.

Who Are We Really?

We think of a party with the masquerade. We think of hidden identities at the masquerade ball. But do we see the masquerade in the everyday parts of life. Too often we fall for the false identity. Triumph and tragedy are often caught masquerading as the other one. Loss and gain often feel very much the same or are they? We hope this finds you without acute distress at the moment. For most often when we are distressed we cannot see the bloom for the thorns. It takes time and healing a bit first.

Now in my spot we look for “silver linings”. But we do not look at it in such a light. We look at nudges and downright kicks to move forward into a new direction. How about how much easier it is to change when you have nothing left to lose. The bad diagnosis, the job loss, the divorce the loss of loved ones. These take us to the bottom of the gorge of life. Remember this one; Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death? The rocks at the very bottom of a canyon are most likely the most stable ones. Don’t build your home or life on the edge of a cliff, lest you learn what it is like to lose everything.

So that if you have now hit rock bottom, is that really masquerading, because the truth is that it is your most stable of places. Here is a phrase for some to consider. Does “upon this rock I shall build my church”, mean rock bottom. Seems like Peter went there before he could really start to build. “Deny me 3 times” anyone?

So when we sit up on the mountain top that feeling of glory is fleeting. Yes it can invigorate and inspire but is it masquerading as something it is not? Is our grief at loss really just that stepping stone to build upon more solid ground? Clearly the warm sand feels good upon of feet and may even be good for certain things. But it would be a façade that one should not build upon for it is fleeting and only is pretending to be solid ground. But maybe if we peel off that layer of sand and go even deeper we find sturdy bedrock worthy of building our home upon. Does up sometimes masquerade as down?

Just Seems to Fit

Walk a Mile in His Shoes

Life is stranger than fiction.

Life is stranger than fiction.

Look at it Another Way

Can love masquerade as hate? You bet it can. Can apathy or non-caring masquerade as anything else, I think not or the person would care. Can obsession masquerade as passion? It certainly would appear so. One could argue that there really are no gray areas, that there is only black masquerading as white and vice versa. Why is a white board the same as a black carpet in the pitch dark? And why do all the colors come out in bloom in the brilliant sun? Have the objects changed or merely the light we cast them in. (sorry a little too heavy, but we get the point that perspective is what makes a color.)

“Step over here a bit, can you see that reflection in the window to the outside?” When dark outside and light inside we can hardly see the glass. With dark inside and light outside we see a reflection of ourselves.

Fortunately I have been in many a flat long desert. I like mirages. Certainly that is water that I see in the distance. Yet it is only the light giving us a reflection filled with the brightness of the sun from just the right angle. I like it when I get to the place of the mirage to find nothing there and yet there is another one in future for me. A wonderful masquerade between heat and cooler. Perhaps rainbows are much the same only more fleeting.

It is easy to figure that sometimes what we see in people is that mirage. Their true inner self is hidden by beauty and love though it may be dark inside. Perhaps at one time their joy is simply a masquerade. I cannot say that I have seen dark outside with perpetual bliss on the inside. Except when that window disappears and we see the light inside while it is dark outside. Darkness, the absence of light and our costume may be just the trick to even fool ourselves.

The grand masquerade ball of life with dancing and door prizes. Let us close out this part with a thought of good. Sometimes it is good for us to step out of ourselves and be somebody else for a spell. This can be fun and invigorating. And lest we forget that if we walk a mile in another’s shoes we learn much from a new perspective. Of course I would prefer it if the other’s shoes were hand-made Italian ;-)

What Face To Wear



All We Have

Passion and Compassion

Most of my days begin with some reading of scripture, deep breathing, prayer and meditation. Not long ones. Sometimes I forgo such things. How my day goes is often a reflection of how it starts. I wonder about it. Which one is the true Eric and which one the masquerade. Or are they the same from differing internal perspectives. Will the real Eric please stand up. There are two breathing methods I use. One to stay calm and another to bring in and out energy. The calm allows for appreciation of nature. The other creates in me a nature of getting stuff done. With overlap of course – not gray areas but intersecting circles. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”. Just which part of the me is the inheritor. Probably the calm one. For in my go getter mode I receive mine here on earth.

Can we love the same differently? How marvelous to think about. When I am off to provide for my family am I more in love than in quiet moments alone with them? I like bravado and macho. They make me laugh. When I catch myself doing them I end up giggling. My son knows this oh to well. The other day I was acting all “the man” tough as nails. And my son smiled and said “wait for it!” Of course the giggle was immediately invoked. Somethings I just cannot fake. Oh well.

Love creeps up on us when we least expect it. It is the opinion here that that is a default position. It is our true self. Oh yes indeed we do not live there all the time and masquerade as something else. But it resides within us waiting for us to pull off the mask and succumb.

Hey now here is a cool question to ponder. Can I masquerade only to myself, down deep inside? Maybe that is what down deep anger or hate comes in. Sure we can act all angry and hateful but is that feeling an imposter for simply loving something else, that gets interfered with by the world. Certainly not caring is the opposite of love. Hate and anger show passion of some twisted sort that allows us to see into our soul and most often by taking away a societal culture what we see is loving.

And so we conclude that the masquerade is all that is not love. Our human nature is to love. Why are we so fragile that we fake it against such truth? For me it is fear of so many different masks that I cannot always see it for the fraud it is. Blessings to you.

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Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 28, 2020:

Marlene excuse my delay. Thank you for leaving such a great comment. I reckon if anyone claims they do not have a bit of what you are talking about they are wearing that mask.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on June 25, 2020:

The hardest thing for me to do is fake it, because no matter how hard I try to pretend I am feeling something other than what I am truly feeling, the truth comes out. Much like when you are trying to be all big and bad and then the child smiles and so the giggles come out to reveal the underlying love that went behind the stoic, "Gotta be a big, tough dad" profile.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 23, 2020:

Devika if you do not mind me saying so, it looks to me after being friends with you for several years now that now you also join in the ranks of us who refuse to give into the negative. Bless you.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 23, 2020:

Thank you much Dora for coming by and leaving such a good comment. A good notion to BE. It caused me to take an inventory of myself.

Devika Primic on June 23, 2020:

Hi Eric such a way to see life as you do in a positive way

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 22, 2020:

The questions you pose in his article beg us to reflect and learn something about ourselves. Hopefully, you help us BE ourselves. Thanks.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Oh those vicissitudes my friend. A fun ride indeed. That notion that one thing looks this way today and another way tomorrow intrigues me. I was thinking that partly it is what we want to see.

Do not show me anything when I am in a grumpy mood ;-)

manatita44 from london on June 22, 2020:

A beautiful piece! I like it. I would even add a piece of perception. 1 plus 1 = O. Lol.

Building the foundation is the real rock. Faith is the real foundation ... faith in Something Higher, but that takes discipline, prayer, self-giving, gratitude ... love. I call them the basics.

My friend wants to astral travel. I ask why. Turns out she wants to see the inside of an Egyptian pyramid. Perhaps she can go by plane or boat, no? Lol.

Life is like that for many. They like Mc Donald's (Fast food). "basics' take too long to prepare.

I like your mirage idea. Last night I dreamt I was a King and my son died. I was so heart-broken! Then I awoke with a sweat but thank God I was still in bed and alone. Now the dream state has vanished! Lol.

Today my daughter fell ill and so my wife said I should show more empathy. So I wanted to know if I should show empathy for the dead son in sleep or the sick daughter in the waking state. Chuckle.

To continue, the 'I' (Eric), is always constant, but it goes through the vicissitudes of life. Necessary for its journey. Tomorrow I may look at your beautiful piece and write something different, as my consciousness may change. Part of the struggle, Bro.

Lovely article. A 'sweet' piece! Happy Father's Day!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Ruby could it be that a mask from time to time allows us to take in something overwhelming as we are able. I will admit that I sometimes hide a bit of trauma and approach it as I can. Bitter is not good but maybe can put off dealing with it all at once. I think that is healthy.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 22, 2020:

I do not like hiding behind a mask, ( C virus ) but I think we all wear masks sometimes. It is not easy to open up, but open up we must to be truthful. I am still hurting over losing my son Jackie, and sometimes I feel bitter. That's when a mask comes in and prayer for forgiveness is a must. Your sermons are thought provoking and seem to bring out the truth.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Thank you Shaloo, I am glad you are well and back with us. Although I find breaks very healthy.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Flourish it is a very interesting timeless notion. I think I will ask my son about them. During stay at home we get to see mom's masks -- Tumeric??

Shaloo Walia from India on June 22, 2020:

Your sermons always provide so much food for thought. I have missed quite a few as I wasn't online much during last two months. Will slowly go through them all.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 22, 2020:

This made me think of an old poem by Mark Ebbers about wearing a mask. Maya Angelou also adapted a poem on the topic. We all have multiple masks.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Hey Umesh that was a great poem on separation. Thanks for coming by and leaving a note. It is appreciated as our only compensation for our labors of love.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Chitrangada, you touched on something for me. I find myself lying to myself. I have to watch for that. Sometimes I just need to check in and get honest with myself and then share it. A constant effort to know the truth.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 22, 2020:

Lori, I like your comment. I think my biggest deal with masks could well have been hiding pain of the emotional type. I was like a real case of suppressed memories. First the mask had to be removed and then the layers of the onion needed to get peeled back. Talk about depressing.

(would you be so kind as to send me a link to your article on masks?)

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 22, 2020:

Simply adorable writing. Comprehensive and exhaustive.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 22, 2020:

Such a great article, thought provoking and engaging all at once.

It's better to talk about myself, and not about others. Most of the times, I speak or show, what goes inside my mind or heart. No masquerading. I have no secrets with my family. And in social or other relationships, I prefer to keep quiet, if I don't agree with the views or the situations.

Thank you Eric, for this interesting read.

Happy Father's Day to you.

Lori Colbo from United States on June 21, 2020:

I'm not sure I followed all of this but I think it's human nature to masquerade. When I am in the depths of depression, for as long as I can a wear a mask of "everything's okie dokie." When the mask buckles and falls then there I am in my ugly misery.

I think people wear masks so people will like them, or to hide something dark and vulnerable. As a matter of fact, I think I wrote and published a poem about wearing masks. One line was something like "I'm an oscar caliber performer." Still waiting for the nomination.

Happy Fathers day Eric.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

Thank you Linda, you make me happy.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 21, 2020:

This is an interesting and inspiring article, Eric. You've provided a lot for me to think about. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

Linda, just for me I could talk and have for hours just using scripture. I am not one to quote it and lay out citations but it is the rock of my foundations. My current journey, call that my life, is all consumed by the disciples. Do I doubt, do I condemn, do I ask to sit in a certain place and do I act as though I have not food enough? Do I fail to give not just my jacket but my shirt? Have I denied and have I felt all is lost when it is not? That is me. And yet....

More to come on this.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 21, 2020:

Eric, this is some of your best writing in a very long time. Not that the others were lacking, but that first segment really got to me. Peter "building on the rock" and your thoughts on that I think I will share with my Pastor.

I pray you are having a good day with your children. Ours are grown, but now they are not only our offspring, they are our friends. The joy in this house today is making the walls almost pulsate. Blessings everywhere.

My love to you.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

Clive I was faking it until I was making it. I never noticed the difference.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

Hey Mel don't fret the uniform. I was a Mall Cop for 2,000 hours in order to get my Cal. PPO (Private Patrol Operator) You know, a company that breaks the backs of flatfeet to turn a buck while not really protecting. I think folks always expected me to drool.

My first Sunday Sermon here was 2013. I keep looking around for my phony self but a friend said that no one can be a fraud for 7 years running.

Maybe this is the real Eric. Don't know.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

John I was trying to think about having masqueraded as love. Couldn't really. So I figured that was that.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on June 21, 2020:

I am happily masquerading as happy.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on June 21, 2020:

Ouch! I can hear the cock crowing over in the Sprung Valley. Your shoes are Pradas, mine are cheap side Nike Air Monarchs size 15, but I'll bet the mile I walk is more comfortable in mine than yours. I hope your deep breathing is not heavy breathing.

On a seriouser note, it is near impossible to masquerade while being a mailman. No matter how hard you try to puff yourself up with vanity, the uniform gives away the mule on the inside. Being a preacher, or a lawyer, gives greater opportunity for the facade. Preachers have to clothe themselves with righteousness for the benefit of the adoring congregation, and lawyers have to clothe themselves with the lie that their sketchy defendant is really innocent. Therefore, your honest introspection is refreshing, because you have played both these parts.

Funny how you should write on this theme, because just yesterday I was thinking about how phony people can be, pretending to be something they are not. You certainly have the finger on the pulse of your congregation, which is why I always stop by for my sermons here. But don't try passing the plate.

Oh yeah and happy Dad's day.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 21, 2020:

Great sermon about masquerading. I like that love is the default. Happy Father’s Day to you. Hope you get spoiled..or is that spoilt?

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

Pam, my wife and I have really gone through great transformations being together so much without interference of the worldly sort. Wow if we wore a mask before it is long gone, and all to the good.

Have a great week!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2020:

Thanks Bill and happy Father's day to you. I bet that young man of yours has something cooked up.

Hey Bill if you just go ahead and burn your ugly mask I will do the same.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2020:

Happy Father's day, Eric!

I don't think I masqueade much these days but I think I did at times when I young. My husband knows me very well, so what would be the point? We are so socially distanced all the time also. i enjoyed your sermon very much. You made several good points that made me think.

Have a great day, Eric!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2020:

I reckon I spent about two decades hiding behind a mask. I don't even know where I put that old mask now. I'm sure I could find it if I wanted to. Stay tuned on further developments.

Happy Father's Day buddy! Have a great day as the patriarch of that group of great kids.

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