Psalm 34:5 (The Message
“Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
Never hide your feelings from him.”
A Word Of Hope
Guess what I have missed most during these seven months of working from home, physical distancing and wearing a mask?
Both getting and giving. Big show- all- your- teeth smiles that cause wrinkles around your eyes.
With masks covering our faces I miss the casual smiles from people I don’t know by name but encounter every day. From the grocery checker and the mail carrier to folks just passing on the sidewalk. I miss the automatic acknowledgement of the other person a smile signals. The message that “you matter.”
And it isn’t just the masks causing problems. We seem afraid to acknowledge each other or engage with each other in the midst of this pandemic. Have you noticed when passing someone either in the store aisle or on the sidewalk we look down; we avoid even eye contact above our masks. More than that we stand off to the side or, sometimes, cross to the other side of the street. It is like we are afraid to come into another’s space.
I understand the critical importance to physically distance and wear a mask. I cringe when I see large crowds or partiers gathered around a bar. Yet, I understand the need for socializing. Isolation is starting to affect us.
I have learned through this that both solitude and community are necessary.
I am not sure what the answer is. We must wear a mask and maintain our distance around those we don’t know well. But we can’t lose our humanity, our common connection, during all this. We have to figure out how to exchange smiles with a stranger while wearing a mask.
God of my being. Your smile is upon me. It is infectious. Help me spread it.