Take off your mask. Step out of the darkness. Open yourself to the hope and joy found in relationships. We’ve spent long enough hiding in isolation. Come out of the darkness. Reconnect with community. Recommit to relationships. It is OK to be afraid, but it is not OK to allow that fear to rule and ruin your life. The retreat is over. Today is the day to re-engage.
Proving that American’s can politicize and polarize anything, face masks became a dividing line in our country in 2020. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, masking has been an issue of constant conversation. First, Americans were told not to wear masks. Then Americans were urged to wear masks. Then, many Americans were coerced by laws or ordinances to wear masks.
Most people hate masks. Even the people who affirm their purpose, don’t enjoy wearing them. However, if we are honest, there are some really great benefits that have come from mask wearing. On more than one occasion, I have been thankful because my mask shielded others from my facial expression.
I’m one of those people who’s facial expression often speaks louder than my words. So, a mask that covers large portions of my face has often helped me to hide my initial reactions or emotions. My grins have been shielded. My disappointment has been hidden. Even my anger has been concealed. I’ve been able to use my words to speak louder than my face.
Now, masks are coming off again, and I realize that people will once again be able to read my emotions before they hear my words.
The things we have hidden for over a year, will now be on display for the world to see.
What has your mask hidden? Has it hidden fear, sadness, disappointment, or pain? Maybe your mask has hidden joy, comfort, or excitement.
Regardless of what has been hiding behind your mask, you will soon find yourself exposed. COVID will cease to be an excuse to wear a mask, avoid crowds, work from home, or watch worship on your couch in your PJs.