Masks of God

According to this article bearing the same name as this post and written by Gene Edward Veith: "God works through you in your vocation, whatever it may be." Here is how it begins:
When I go into a restaurant, the waitress who brings me my meal, the cook in the back who prepared it, the delivery men, the wholesalers, the workers in the food-processing factories, the butchers, the farmers, the ranchers, and everyone else in the economic food chain are all being used by God to "give me this day my daily bread."

This is the doctrine of vocation. God works through people, in their ordinary stations of life to which He has called them, to care for His creation. In this way, He cares for everyone— Christian and non-Christian—whom He has given life.

Luther puts it even more strongly: Vocations are “masks of God.” On the surface, we see an ordinary human face—our mother, the doctor, the teacher, the waitress, our pastor—but, beneath the appearances, God is ministering to us through them. God is hidden in human vocations.

The other side of the coin is that God is hidden in us. When we live out our callings—as spouses, parents, children, employers, employees, citizens, and the rest—God is working through us. Even when we do not realize it, when we fulfill our callings, we too are masks of God.
I love the idea that we are the masks that God wears as He ministers in the world. Here is the way that Dr Veith wraps up his teaching:
If we are masks of God, even when we do not realize it, it is also true that God is masked in our neighbor. Particularly when our neighbor is in need—when he or she is sick, hungry, thirsty, naked, a prisoner, a stranger—Christ Himself is hidden. "In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren," the Lord says, "ye have done it unto me" (Matt. 25:40).

In serving our neighbors, we end up serving Christ after all.
I so resonate with this. Regardless of who we are.. even if we do not have a "professional" title.. we can minister His love to those who are made in His image. We are the masks He wears and the gloves He puts on to minister His love to broken and hurting people.


  1. I completely identify with what Dr Veith says. In my life I come across alot of drug addicts and hurting people and I always tell them I believe we met by Gods design not by accident so that I can help them, and they see Gods love for them in me by the way I treat them with love and respect. I also quote Matt.25:40 in my blog. Last week an old lady knocked on my front door while i had a friend over. The old lady was a bit distressed because she couldn't work out how to turn off the blinkers in her car, i worked out it was her hazard blinkers she was grateful and i told her she could knock on my door anytime for help. My friend said who was that i said i don't know, she could be one of Gods angels we were entertaining unawares.

  2. Wonderful, Bob. May my eyes be more fully open to see HIM behind every mask.

  3. Bob, I agree with Veith that our vocations are an important way we love people. Do you have a copy of Our Work Loves Our Neighbor?

  4. Thanks all for the great responses.

    Yes, I do have a copy John.

  5. A few pertinent quotes from St. Francis de Sales:

    Just as every gem cast in honey becomes brighter and more sparkling, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his or her own vocation when they practice devotion. Through it your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

    Persevere in overcoming yourself in the little everyday frustrations that bother you; let your best efforts be directed there. God wishes nothing else of you at present, so don’t waste time doing anything else. Don’t sow your desires in someone else’s garden; just cultivate your own as best you can; don’t long to be other than what you are, but desire to be thoroughly what you are.

    Tell me, is it proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious? Is not this sort of devotion unorganized and intolerable? Yet, this error occurs frequently. However, in no way does true devotion destroy anything at all. On the contrary it perfects and fulfills all things and even enhances them. In fact, if it ever works against anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false.

    What is the use of building castles in Spain when we have to live in France?


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply.
You can click here to see my comment policy.