Occasional
Ponderings

STRANGE TIMES
4/3/2020
I’ll tell you now, before you have a chance to figure it out – I have never written a blog before. However, we are on day 18 of at least 45 days of our orders to “stay inside” to help flatten the curve of this coronavirus, so strange times bring strange communication measures.
 
One thing I know, people don’t have the attention span for really long posts.
The second thing I know is that you need to have something to say.
The third thing I know is that you need to know who is in your audience.
 
So, let’s talk face masks. Asians have been wearing them for years and in general, people from the US tend to think they look silly. 
 
At first when face masks were being discussed, it was for the purpose of keeping the germs out of us, protecting us. There were a great number of talk shows and press conferences in which this was the discussion. Don’t wear them because they will give you a false sense of security. You will think you are safe, but you’ll touch your mask and put germs on it. You will think you are safe, but the germs can get through. You will think you are safe, but they don’t fit tightly enough anyway.
 
Have you noticed the conversation has evolved? Yes, it really has. Now, it has become clear that the wearing of face masks is not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others. When I wear a face mask, I protect other people from potentially getting the disease from ME.
 
I love this pivot. 
 
Human beings have a natural tendency to think we are the center of the universe, no matter where we live. I remember a scene from The King and I where Anna was teaching the children in Siam about world geography. The map of the world they had been using displayed Siam as the biggest country in the world. Anna had quite an argument with the prince about the accuracy of this view.
 
Our first inclination, to wear the masks to protect ourselves, and even to stockpile masks to the detriment of our medical professionals, reflected this self-important, self-centered worldview.
 
Our pivot to wearing face masks for the purpose of considering the others in the world is healthy in general, but also reflects the scripture I used for this Sunday’s worship. When Jesus was washing the disciples feet, I will paraphrase what he said: I give you a new commandment. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. By loving one another, everyone will know that you are my disciple. 
 
I know it is hard in this hour to put aside our immediate fears of COVID19 to love one another, but consider this thought. When you wear a face mask to protect others, the virus will stop spreading, ultimately making the world a safer place for YOU. In the end, the world is better for EVERYONE when we love one another.
 
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying to think of yourself and thus wear a face mask so that the world will be safer for you, personally. Again, that is inward focused. To love one another, our focus begins and stays on the other and the outcome is one that rewards us all.
 
Stay home. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a face mask. And by this everyone will know you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.