“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5 NIV)
“Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.” (1 John 4:11-12 GNT)
We are created as social beings, meant to interact with others. The important thing is whether our interactions with others show God’s love.
One of the most common greetings is the handshake — now, not allowed. Some of us would normally give a touch on the shoulder or a hug, whether a light one or an affectionate bear hug, indicating warm and supportive caring. Again, with social distancing, touching and hugging are no longer allowed.
But the most common manner in which we greet others is the way in which we look at them. Sometimes, we frown or glare or greet them in a negative way. However, the best way, and probably the most common way, is with a smile. It takes little effort but brings much blessing to the giver and especially to the recipient.
Now, here comes the mask.
Initially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much discussion about masks. Certainly, there was a realization that surgical masks like the N95 were essential for health-care workers. But face coverings for the public were generally considered to prevent the user from infecting others but not necessarily efficient in protecting the wearer from others who might be infected. In any case, things have evolved to the level that at least in some areas everyone who leaves their house is supposed to wear a mask of some sort.
Whether this has any real benefit or not in limiting the spread of the pandemic is uncertain, but one thing is definite. It has taken away the easiest and most helpful way of communicating our love to others — the smile!
The staff where I live all wear masks and face shields. There are frequent comments made about how sad it is that we are unable to see their lovely smiles. Some put decorations on their clear shields, while others try to communicate with their eyes and foreheads, but it is a challenge.
There is an old song that says,
“Keep on smilin’, ’cause when you’re smilin’, The whole world smiles with you.”
This COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made it more difficult to share God’s love in the normal way — no shaking hands, hugging, or even smiling.
But God’s love is still ours.
I know that it’s my challenge, and yours also, to find different ways to communicate His love in positive though different ways.
Prayer: Dear Father, as we live through these different, difficult, and challenging days, help us to remember that Your love never changes. May we be resourceful in finding ways to communicate the love of Jesus in a positive manner. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission