We are living in a weird time. We put on masks to go to work, if we are going to work at all. We stay in our homes and limit or have no contact with the people in our lives we love most. There are lines of people, standing six feet apart, outside of box stores at all hours waiting to find toilet paper, water, and cleaning supplies on the shelves. A virus reared it's ugly head in our world and people either became or were forced to become instant hoarders. There was no milk, no bread, no canned soup. No tissues, or paper towels, or napkins. No diapers, wipes, or formula. It was like we suddenly started using an excessive amount of these things... except we really didn't.
It wasn't just the reaction over the physical necessities that struck me though. It was the way we, as humans, have leaned into this space in our own ways. The introverts are kind of excited about the solitude. The extroverts, not so much. The essential workers didn't have a choice, but to work harder, longer, and with great risk to their own health. Others were suddenly without jobs, pushed into a forced vacation that wasn't a vacation at all.
As much as I try to wrap my mind around this season we are all in, I just can't. It feels like we woke up in a movie plot where everyone walks into a bank with a mask on and no one thinks anything of it! I laughed the whole time I was making this little doodle about the toilet paper crisis (by the way, my kids did not find this nearly as funny as I did!). There have been many moments I've turned to humor to survive this interesting time, but the truth is there's really nothing funny about what's happening in the world.
As I sit here more than two months into quarantine, I'm asking myself not how I'll cope in the lock down life, but how will I press in to the lessons that come with it. I wonder how often I wear a mask when I approach the Father in prayer and only show Him half of myself. I wonder if I have allowed the circumstances of my life to determine how much distance I place between He and I. Is it safe to be near Him or do I make excuses to stay the six feet of socially acceptable distance away?
The truth is when we truly value and desire relationship with others we don't need excuses. We find a way, new ways, any way to make it work. One of the really neat things to come from this season is deepening relationships in my life from both the women who have been in my life for a long time and the new, strong women who have showed up to be an encouragement to me in ways Jesus knew I needed.
If relationships can grow roots between two imperfect humans in the middle of a pandemic lock down then how much more could I know Jesus if I'm brave enough to drop my mask, close the distance gap, and draw near to Him?
So, yes, wear your mask in public, but when you hear Him knock on the door of your heart and are brave enough to open it wide, drop the mask, fall into His arms and let Him meet you right where you are.