Oh 2020….you sure have caused a lot of people grief. I think we will all recount this year as one of struggles, celebrations and laughter, but one thing that will stand out above it all is all of the pictures with people in masks. Let’s dive into that a little more in depth.
Unmasking the truth
First off, I would like to clarify that I am not a medical professional and that the advice given below is filtered through the lens of the Gospel.
I need to first take you back to March of this year in order to tell the full story of how I came to start wearing a mask. News of Covid-19 started to pop up around March and like most other sensationalized news stories, I brushed it off as, “Eh, there goes the media blowing something out of proportion again”. I staunchly held this stance for a couple months. Growing up around farm animals and playing in the dirt built up my immune system as a kid. Through my teenage years I only was severely sick once or twice and everything else was fairly minor. This gave me a confidence about the immunity built up inside me to all of these viruses that come around each year. This odd sense of pride over something that I could not see was showing outwardly by me not wearing a mask. This anti-mask attitude was only exacerbated by my amateur scientific knowledge.
Until a few weeks ago, I was stuck in this thought process, but something I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit happened. My wife and I were on our honeymoon in South Dakota where masks were not required at the time of our visit. Being around so many people without masks was comforting and brought a sense of pre-Covid normalcy back into existence for moment. Just after our honeymoon though, my grandfather began to have health problems and needed to be in the hospital. Here in Indiana though, my family was unable to go visit him because the hospitals are so locked down. This is when things started to fall into place for me.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a]31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31. After about a week of painful realization of my pride in my immune system and selfishness of not wanting to wear something that made me sweat, I broke down. I came to realization after hearing the verse from Mark over and over in my head that I was not loving my neighbor as myself. I began to think of what if’s and considered the following: What if someone decided to not wear a mask around my grandfather and he dies from that? What if I was infected and didn’t know it and caused someone else to get sick?
Love your neighbor
You have probably heard this verse hundreds of times, but I ask you to pause as a Christ follower and consider whether you are loving your neighbor. This can go for a plethora of other things as well, but I wanted to specifically focus this blog on how wearing a mask means loving your neighbor as yourself.
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