I don’t know about you, but I’ve been experimenting with wearing face masks during this pandemic. I’ve tried the masks that go over your ears and the ones that go all the way around your head. I’ve tried different kinds of cloth masks and the masks that are for one use only. One of the possibly surprising moments of this pandemic has been how wearing a face mask has become a political fight in our country. Some folks speak about requiring masks to be worn as limiting their freedom. The “you’re not the boss of me, don’t tell me what to do” argument, if you will. There’s even videos of people being asked to wear a mask upon entering a store only to verbally or even physically assault those employees. As if that’s the fault of the employee who’s just trying to do their job anyway!
When we move to worshiping in person, masks are going to be required. I’m trying to figure out how to preach in a mask or if I will be far enough away from our congregation up front on the chancel/in the pulpit that I can wear a mask before and after worship but not when leading it. We don’t have any sound amplification right now, so when you hopefully hear me okay during Virtual Worship recordings it’s because I am projecting. (Thanks for teaching me those skills Wadsworth High School’s Speech and Debate Team!) Projecting one’s voice isn’t easy to do in a mask, or maybe I’m just whining. Anyway, there’s all sorts of things to consider when it comes to keeping everybody safe.
As challenging as it sometimes may feel to wear face masks, what helped recently was changing the way I thought about it. Yes, wearing a mask does protect myself. Though it also protects those around me. Jesus taught us to love God, love our neighbors, and love ourselves. It’s been making the rounds in my clergy circles that perhaps wearing a mask these days is one of the best signs of our love for our neighbor. That thought was hopeful. Instead of thinking about wearing a mask as restricting our personal freedom, we could think of it as extension of Christian hospitality and love to our neighbor. Maybe thinking about all of this theologically helps, just a thought for this week.
(This Week’s Thoughts 6.25.20)