On Saturday night, Karla and I ventured into Walmart. It was my first time being in the store in over two months (lucky me!). There was an elaborate entrance maze made up of pylons and caution tape, that we had to walk through to get into the store. A worker was spraying some disinfectant concoction on the shopping carts (At least, I was hoping it was disinfectant as I grabbed the cart). As you probably know, there are traffic flow signs on floor directing which direction one should shop (few people obeyed or noticed the signs). Some folks were wearing masks, some were not and some had them on below their nose and mouth (their chins were well protected from the virus). Some of the masks worn had mouths painted on. One guy’s masked covered most of his face and it looked like the Incredible Hulk. Others were supporting a college or professional sports team (I had on my Michigan Wolverines mask provided to me by Kay Brown and Karla was wearing her mask provided by our seniors). Some had handkerchiefs on, they looked like they were about to rob a stagecoach.
I will admit I was more aware of my surroundings when around the non-masked people. I walked a little quicker as I passed them. Tried to hold my breath on a few occasions. It’s funny how things can change. In my pre-pandemic forays into Walmart, I would have thought the stagecoach-robbing handkerchief guy and the customer with an Incredible Hulk mask would have been the people I would have most wanted to most avoid.
Welcome to our Covid-19 world!
Back in the good ol’ days (before coronavirus) people wore masks too, you just couldn’t see them. They would put on a happy face mask and come to church, when on the inside, they were dying from some troubling circumstance. They would put on a brave mask when I‘d visit pre-surgery. Truth is they were anxious and full of anxiety. People put on a nice Christian mask, when I preached on the evils of lust, greed or the lack of forgiveness. All the while, the invisible mask-wearing-church-goers knew full well that they were battling such sinful thoughts and behaviors.
There are plenty of masks people wear to cover up their true selves. It’s easy to hide behind such coverings and fool even the most intuitive among us. It’s easy to fool me. I’ve been deceived more times than I can to count. Truth be told, I have also worn my share of masks down through the years hoping that my true self would not be revealed. Fooling people is easy, fooling God is impossible. God sees our heart. He knows our thoughts. He is aware of those dark and hidden places. We would do well to heed and take action regarding the author of Hebrews’ reminder:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-14
Both pre-pandemic and now, people are wearing masks. It’s just easier to tell what kind of mask it is these days.