The Smile Above The Mask
It’s an unusual time that we’re living in during these mask-wearing days of our global pandemic. Full facial expression — something that we normally take for granted — is no longer possible. Communication can be hampered when others cannot see movement of lips. Nonetheless, many emotions can be communicated through our eyes. Shock, grief, fear, surprise, and joy can all be seen in one’s eyes, but a smile is also clearly visible. The eyes are said to be the window to the soul and express one’s inner feelings.
The eyes are a two-way portal between people. Our eyes are the avenue for seeing others around us, as well as being a means of revealing our feelings to others. This is a swinging door, allowing us to both reveal and perceive interpersonal connections.
This visual of a two-way portal can be taken a step further in a spiritual, symbolic way. God’s wondrous, loving care of His children is often poetically expressed in terms of God’s watchful eye upon us. A favourite gospel song tells us that “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” King Hezekiah of Judah, in great distress when his country was being threatened by the Assyrian army, begged God, “Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!” (2 Kings 19:16b NLT)
As King Hezekiah learned, when God sees us, He shows tenderness and compassion. In turn, we can look to God, as did King Jehoshaphat when his people faced grave danger from the invading Moabite army. (This seems to be a recurring theme in Jewish history, doesn’t it?) King Jehoshaphat cried out to God, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12b NIV)
When we look to God in trust, we express our love and obedience to Him, as well as showing our reliance upon Him to supply our needs and help in time of danger. Looking to God evidences our trust in Him for strength to do — or endure — things that are beyond our capability. In turn, this confident trust in His protection results in lasting joy and happiness.
And so it is: God looks upon us with eyes of tenderness and compassion, and we look to Him with eyes of trust.
Now let’s go back to the original thought of this devotional — the smile above the mask. Let the smile above your mask not be just a cheerful smile expressing happiness. Let it also be a smile of joy-filled trust and confidence in God in facing the troubles of today. Others will be blessed by this visible sign of inner peace as it evidences our trust in God. Further, may we look upon others with tenderness and compassion as God has modelled for us.
Prayer: O Lord, we know that we can trust You as we look to You for strength and help in time of need. We know that You see us and will provide abundantly. As we look to You in faith, may we show loving compassion toward others, as You have shown it toward us. Amen.
Beaverton, Oregon, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with Author’s permission.