The Mask - As Far as it Depends on You
The fall light fell perfectly on the busy Whitefish city avenue as my mother and I stepped briskly across the street, laughing together. Our destination was a coffee shop only a few feet from us and expectation over our soon-to-be-eaten-treat filled our minds. As we reached the front of the shop, the glaring white sign with the picture of the standard blue mask was plastered on the door:
“No Entry Without A Proper Facial Covering.”
We, much like the rest of the world, had become accustomed to seeing these signs, and merely took it as an option and not a demand. This was not due to any lack of respect, but for the simple fact that our hometown did not enforce mask policy, despite the warning signs hung on every business. To us, the signs were hung not to be obeyed, but instead, were hung because businesses were stiff-armed by the “COVID-19 New World Order.” As we pulled open the door to go into the coffee shop, the delightful smell of roasted coffee and a line of people filled our gaze and senses. In the meantime, I, trying to pull my usual ‘mask diversion’ attempt by simply avoiding eye contact and becoming all of sudden extremely interested in small decorative buttons. I smiled, and kept my eyes down as if I was avoiding the Gestapo.
“You guys need to put your masks on!” Came the loud and unfriendly demand from behind the coffee bar. I looked up to meet the eyes of an Asian gentleman not much older than myself dawning an all-black mask. We continued to stare at him, as if he had made some kind of mistake.
“You guys need to wear your masks in here.” He repeated, motioning the way to properly pull up the mask like a flight attendant doing a pre-check seat belt demonstration. I shot a quick look to my mother who just smiled tolerantly, looked down and began slipping her all-white mask across her face. The difference in mask coloration in this moment could have easily been compared to the cosmic battle between good versus evil. Jesus versus satan and Trump versus basically every democrat in the nation.
Suddenly, and unexpectantly, my mother began approaching the young man and beckoning him privately to speak with her from across the counter. I, of course, sensing what was about to play out had already set myself up for war in my heart. And the missiles were locked and loaded.
“Young man, we are happy to comply with wearing the mask, and other people would happily do it, but you need to rather than just yell at them when they enter the store, maybe greet them and ask nicely for them to wear their mask instead?” “Yeah, you were really harsh!” I blurted in, now taking over the pleasant conversation. Shaking my head to everything my mom said. My eyes could have incinerated every worker and innocent mask-wearing bystander in .05 milliseconds but thankfully we left shortly after that.
I would have thought this experience, as unpleasant as it had been, would be simply a distant memory and that life would continue as normal. However, when I heard the Lord direct me to scripture concerning the mask issue, I was forced to reevaluate my beliefs.
“If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 stuck into my heart as I felt the Lord continue with the statement:
“If people telling you to wear the mask causes you to walk out of love and become angry, you are giving the devil an entry point into your life and walk with Me. This isn’t worth it. Love the people more than you hate the mask.”
I soon realized, after a conversation with the Lord, that the fight over the mask, was, according to Jesus, pointless. His desire was for me to eliminate any open door the enemy could find to cause my love to grow cold.
“Do this, knowing that this is a critical time….the night, this present age of evil, is almost gone and the day of Christ's return is almost here. So, let us fling away the works of darkness and put on the full armor of light…”
I realized suddenly, that because I had become so upset about wearing the mask, I had let the devil steal my love for others. And, just when I thought the Lord couldn’t possibly relate anything in the Bible to my situation at the coffee shop, the Holy Spirit hit me with a scripture in Matthew 17.
Jesus was asked by the government officials of their day why Jesus didn’t pay the temple tax. (Can you already see the comparison forming?) Jesus, by right of His own Deity, Sonship and the fact He Himself WAS the temple, did not have to follow that law. He could have said no, not pay. He had every legal right not to. But instead of bucking the system, He simply replied:
“But so that we do not offend them, do this: Go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open its mouth. Inside its mouth you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors. That will pay the tax for you and me.”
Jesus is our King. If the world hates us, its because it hated Him first. And we are not greater than our master. If Jesus, the head of the Church, chose to walk in love and obey a law any normal person in His position would have snorted and ignored, how much more should we, His disciples choose to walk in His love and wear the mask. Not because we agree with the system and not to say we believe this is right, but because we are reflections of our Father. And we love people, more than we hate the mask. I encourage all of you who hate the mask just as I did, to realize that this is a system set up thousands of years ago by the Lord Himself to bring about the end of all things. Our love cannot grow cold in this final hour with something as pointless and futile as wearing a mask. Call upon the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh love and witness for those who are wearing the mask because of fear. But as for you, my brothers and sisters, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” Amen. Come Lord Jesus.
Authored By: Alexandra Olin