Unmasked at last. A pastor friend lightheartedly told me, this week, “We’re not going to have a mortgage burning at the church; we’re going to have a mask burning!” As we now know, Virginia’s masking mandate has been largely eased. It was a blessing attending an unmasked meeting with sister church leaders a few days ago.
Over the past year, folks have debated the efficacy of face masks. I’ve heard it argued that they are effective in preventing COVID; while others claim the mask is of little or no value. Laying science aside, here is what I’ve liked about masks over the past year. While teaching and preaching, I’ve observed not even one person yawning; evidentially face masks have helped people stay more focused on the message.
They also eliminate the need to shave and mask-over bad breath. I’m not certain if women skipped a little extra makeup, like lipstick; I don’t think they would admit to that.
Another masking advantage: while people appear to listen patiently to my stories, they may be concealing a frown or impatient smile; they had likely heard that story before — me becoming more and more absentminded. So I really couldn’t interpret their masked reaction, but being an eternal optimist, I’m convinced they were deeply interested in what I was saying.
Finally if I had to make a mad dash into a store with little time to spare; there was a sense of anonymity, no one will recognize me.
Seriously, I like to think of the mask in this way. If I were on a jumbo jet crossing the Atlantic, which I’ve done multiple times, the aircraft develops life-threatening trouble; oxygen masks pop down from the ceiling — every last passenger immediately attaches the life-saving mask. They keep the mask snugly attached until the captain says it’s safe to remove it. Most would then follow the captain’s instructions, while a few cautious folk would keep their emergency masks attached for added safety. So I believe the mask has been a reasonable precaution, some people may even want to continue wearing it for added safety. I’m also convinced that the anti-virus shots are a sensible prevention measure.
OK, let’s move to the spiritual. What precautions have you taken to enter into eternity? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ and are you convinced that He will keep you until your final seconds of this earthly life. Paul the Apostle writes:
2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” NKJV
You will find Jesus the Savior, merciful and worthy of our complete trust. He asks that you trust Him to forgive your sins and save you. What comfort knowing Him brings.
Our daughter, Amy, is a physician caring for nursing home patients. She strives to be alongside her elderly patients, holding their hands, whispering a prayer of comfort as they move their residence into eternity.
Very recently, an otherwise healthy patient began to succumb to weakness and illnesses characteristic of a dying person. Amy sat by her beside. The patient awoke suddenly, startled and disappointed — she said to my daughter, “Oh you’re just the doctor! I was expecting to see the face of Jesus!” Just two days later, she realized her deepest wish.