This past Sunday I went to church. You see, I get the privilege of still being able to go because I am on a vocal team and we do the service and broadcast it online. It is difficult to look out at empty pews and not sehttps://www.facebook.com/groups/firstmtwashington/permalink/10157599146628772/?sfnsn=moe my fellow Christians worshiping with me. I know worship is of the heart but it does lift my heart even more to see so many people singing, praying, and praising God. I took it for granted prior to the mandatory shut down of our country due to the Covid 19. It has given me a taste of what it would be like to live in a country where our freedoms are restricted and punished for disobeying.
So now we are looking at opening back up, even if it be partially, with some strict government regulated mandates. The wearing of mask has been a hot topic in our area. There are some that are diligent about donning their mask whenever they are out and feel they are doing their duty. While there are others who are angry that they are made to wear a piece of cloth over their face that is ineffective at keeping any microbe at bay. And people are very vocal about it. As a nurse I completely agree that these homemade mask due little to keep us safe from the virus, or spread it if we have it. Mostly because people are not wearing them correctly and they are touching their mask and then touching everything else thus contaminating it. BUT with that said there is an element here that needs to mentioned. FEAR! So many are living in fear of getting the virus and they want to do everything they can to avoid it and want others to do so as well. Fear is a powerful motivator. I know how fear impacted my life for so many years when my children were in active drug abuse. Fear consumes you and causes great stress, even if the threat is minimal.
So even though I am not a strong proponent of the mask, I am a strong proponent of being kind. As we were discussing the mask issue this past Sunday, one of our pastors said " It is better to be kind than to be right". That really hit home with me. My desire in life is to help people feel better in all ways, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. So if my actions like not wearing a mask causes distress in someone else then I'm not going to do it. If wearing a mask helps others to see that I care about them and their welfare, regardless of my opinion about them, then I will wear a mask. And as a Christian, I don't want anyone to think I am putting my own desires above theirs. Yes, this is America, where I have the freedom to choose what I am going to do. But I choose to be kind, rather than be right. I choose to represent God and convey an attitude of "love thy neighbor as thyself". What would Jesus do if the world around him were frightened to be out in public because of some plague? I think he would want to help others feel safe. I want people to be able to approach me and open up about their struggles about a loved one with addiction. Or to just share with me about their life and create new relationships. I'm not going to let a simple thing like wearing a mask keep me from connecting with my community. The most important thing for me is to represent God, and continue to bring hope one bar at a time.
I look forward to seeing people back in church in a couple of weeks. It is going to be strange looking out at the congregation all wearing mask, but it will be a celebration to be able to come together for worship! It won't be like this forever. It is just a moment in time. May you stay safe, healthy, and turn your fear over to God. God bless, Jennifer