A few days ago, I went to pick up my mom’s groceries and I had to go inside the store for a few items that were left off. Inside, I was surprised at the number of elderly shoppers that were out and about. I knew it was early in the morning and the middle of the week, I just didn’t expect to see as many as I did. I whispered a prayer for each of their safety as I passed them, and I thanked God I was able to do the chore of grocery shopping for my mother.
What really stood out to me that morning was that they were ALL wearing masks! Perhaps I was wistful in my thinking that morning or perhaps it was the prayers in my heart, but I felt an overwhelming sentiment of love as I walked through the store. Here I am wearing my mask for some protection, but I am surrounded by people who are willing to protect as well.
The CDC now recommends that we wear masks whenever we are in public or in areas where social distancing is hard. Many studies have shown that masks are effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19. But, unfortunately, that has stirred a lot of anger and dispute in some communities.
I don’t understand the debate about wearing masks. Have we really become a society that is so self-centered that we only think about what is comfortable for us and not our neighbor? Can we only see through the eyes of legal and constitutional rights and ignore the heart for humanity?
Things are not normal, and we cannot continue to approach it with a “normal” mindset. Even a child knows that if there’s a thunderstorm outside, they can’t go play in the backyard, even if they were promised that they could the day before.
Maybe there is some confusion about who is being protected when you put on a mask. When you wear a mask, you are protecting others from what YOU may carry, you are not protecting yourself from what others carry.
Many years ago, I had several colorful rubber bracelets and pencils with the letters WWJD inscribed on them. Today, I still find myself asking the question, ‘What would Jesus do?’ in many situations including this COVID-19 crisis. So, what would Jesus do?
I firmly believe that He would speak to this airborne disease and tell it to LEAVE, and it would be over and done with. He has not done that yet, but he did leave us with a few directions so that we don’t have to figure things out blindly.
When you wear a mask, you are thinking of others and not just yourselves. Isn’t that exactly what Jesus would do?
Recently, I was watching a briefing from our state government. One of the state’s leaders spoke candidly about what wearing a mask meant. He said, “wearing [a mask] shows consideration for others. It shows respect for the elderly. It shows your concern. It shows you care.” As I stood in the kitchen watching, I added to his list and said, “It shows you LOVE”.
Love – that just about sums it up. And that is how Jesus summed it up in John 13:34-35:
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV)
Christ showed his love for us by giving his life for us. This makes the mask debate seem very silly.
I wish I could have shopped for every senior citizen that was in the store that morning that didn’t want to be there. But the very least I could do for them was to keep my mask on. Not because I like the way it hurts my ears when I have it on for more than 10 minutes. Not because I like the way it gets tangled in my afro curls when I tie it behind my head. Not because I like the way my skin feels irritated, dry, and exposed when I take it off. Not because it brings a keen awareness of what I ate for lunch.
I wear a mask because I care and my savior commands me to love you – regardless of your love and concern for me.
A mask says…I choose to spread LOVE.
Little POW-wow, Pearls of Wisdom
- 1 John 4:16-20 has a lot to say about love. Take a moment and read it right now and let the words minister to you during this time of turmoil and confusion.
- Do you have a family member that disagrees with wearing a mask? Don’t argue with them, just love them, and ask God to unveil their eyes and give them a heart for who they are really protecting when they wear a mask.
- Take a moment and pray for our country. We have always flourished on our ability to respect opposing views. Ask God to forgive us for the hate and animosity we feel towards those that don’t think the way we do. And when you put on your mask, pray for those that refuse to.
Tune My Heart…
Take 6 is the most award-winning a cappella group in history! They have won 10 Grammys and have recorded 16 albums. Their first album, Take 6, was released in 1988, and their first single was Spread Love. They have recently re-recorded this hit song with the Spread Love 2020 Challenge.
The next time you put on a mask, think of SREADing LOVE, instead of spreading anything else. Enjoy!