We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient                                                                                                                                                         Romans 5:3 (Living Bible)

Who could have imagined just a few short months ago that masks would be a part of our daily routine? Before I leave the house to walk to get the newspaper, I make sure that I have my 3 “M”’s- mask, money and media (my podcast delivery system). Yes, that is a daily routine and I can get 2 miles in before 8AM. So, I make sure that I have a mask, and it has now become routine.

However, that mask has some obvious drawbacks. First, it is a daily reminder that life is not like it used to be. Next, it takes away a large part of my ability to communicate with others. Smiles and facial expressions are covered or muted, and it takes away part of the rich expression that had normally been part of our complicated communication process.

Researchers say that up to 30% of our communication is conveyed by facial expression and body language. Even body language has been affected by the pandemic as we no longer get close enough to have personal touch with others. That makes tone of voice and words even more important than ever before in expressing ourselves to others.

So, masks have restricted us, at least for now. They do work, as long as we actually wear them, and as long as we try to pay attention to wearing them correctly.

In the Far East, people have worn masks for years, and there is no real cultural bias or stigma in it, as far as I know. So, we can get used to masks, for now. Our prayer is that there will be a time when we can say, “Remember when everybody used to wear a mask?”

So, take heart. Someday this will be part of an interesting story for our next generations.

Prayer: Lord, this is a time of change for us. Help us to redeem it for good, Amen

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