I went to Comicon in Lexington with a couple of friends a few days ago. Regardless of whether you are a fan or not, I insist that given the chance everyone should go at least once! It was definitely an adventure. The convention had a variety of booths where individuals could purchase fan merchandise and art. There were also plenty opportunities to meet special guests and for the right price get an autograph or a photograph with them. Lastly, there were costumes. When I say costumes, I’m not talking about something that was thrown together at the last minute for a party at a friend’s house. Some of these costumes were elaborate pieces of work that clearly took hours and even hundreds of dollars to make.
My first trip to Comicon was my first introduction to fandom. Fan fiction, cosplay and fan art are some of the most common activities where individuals express their fandom. For most people, this is just a hobby. A way for them to express their devotion and appreciation for their favorite characters. However, for others, it becomes a way of escape. A way to take on a persona with characteristics and abilities that they find more desirable than their own.
I couldn’t understand why people would spend so much time, energy and money on something that they are not. But then, I realized I do the same thing except I don’t wear a mask. Well, at least not a physical one. For me, church was my place of escape. I would put on my perfectly pressed suit of strength and paint on my happy smile with red lipstick and look like I had it all together. I knew the right words to say and the things to do. My “costume” worked for a long time. People would comment on how strong I was and what a good girl I was. But, they didn’t know the girl that was falling apart underneath. The girl with the broken heart and fading dreams. The girl that had made some pretty bad choices that have made her feel down right rotten. You see, just like in cosplay, you may be able to fool everyone else around you, but you can’t fool yourself. You know you are an impostor. And we may be able to hide who we really are from others, but we can’t hide from God. He knows everything about us. We are uncovered, naked before him. Yet, he loves us. Period. Just as we should love ourselves and love each other. Church, when can we learn to take off our costumes, quit pretending like we have it all together and learn to love ourselves and others in the middle of our messes just like Jesus does?