I read a devotional this week written by Beth Ann Nichols. It really got me thinking about how wearing a mask has changed how I relate with people. Beth Ann shared, “Never before have we looked into the eyes of our fellow man more than during this pandemic. With masks covering our smiles, our frowns and our quivering lips, we’re left with the eyes to tell our stories—and to “listen” to the stories of others.” I realized that I have to be more intentional on letting folks, whose paths I cross, know that I care. The mask itself shows I care because I am wearing it, not only for my own health, but also to make others feel comfortable being around me. What it doesn’t do is let people know I am smiling. It has also caused me to not engage with people as I did before Covid.
Matthew 6:22 says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. You draw light into your body through your eyes, and light shines out to the world through your eyes. So if your eye is well and shows you what is true, then your whole body will be filled with light.” Luke 11:33 shares “We are not to light a lamp and put it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl (or mask 😀) Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eyes are the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light”. When Jesus speaks of eyes and light, He means all people should keep their eyes on God because the eyes are the windows to the soul.” Beth Ann goes on to ask, “What do people see when they look into your eyes? When they’re forced to hold your gaze, do they see kindness, gentleness, joy? This has caused me to think about how a mask and staying social distanced has caused me to be less thoughtful about making people I encounter that they are seen and appreciated. Her exhortation motivated me this week to find ways to make sure people whose paths I cross know that I appreciate them. How?
I have started focusing on others eyes above their masks. It is amazing what we see when I look into theirs? I have learned that so many are feeling lonely, discouraged and are experiencing an emptiness. I am trying to initiate some interaction even with my mask and staying social distanced. People are at first surprised but are so grateful because like me, a lot of us have withdrawn without even knowing it. So my encouragement to you is give it a try. Step out and reach out to someone today. Each of us can help the world find its new normal. A normal where we all can show each other we care and want the best for them. Go out and shine the light.
Zephaniah 3:17 sings over us all. “The LORD your God is in your midst, Victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Rejoice inspite of the challenges you face no matter what they might be. As my friend Don Sankey reminds me every day, even behind your mask, #makesomeonesmiletoday “Let your smile change the world but don’t let the world change your smile.” author unknown
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