I was sitting where I was supposed to.
My mask in place.
Awaiting my turn with the nurse.
The other people were equally following the rules.
Some I’d seen before.
A few new faces as well.
Since September, I’ve been regularly seeing the receptionist and nurse.
I feel warmth for them both.
I’d stop and speak to them if we were to meet elsewhere.
(For those who know me you’d expect this.)
Yes, I’ve even hugged them in gratitude.
But not since the virus.
As I looked at the receptionist, I smiled.
She was more than 6ft away, but behind her mask, she was smiling too.
When my turn came, the nurse was also smiling, behind her mask.
After returning to my seat, I picked up my crocheting and began to wait while working.
I also prayed, as I felt led.
Due to the office size, everyone’s conversation is easily audible.
Although, I try to mind my own business, I hadn’t missed a young man who was relating the fact that his wife had developed allergies after the birth of their baby and how compassionate she was to him because of this.
His seat was to my left and I prayed for his wife, his allergies, their marriage, and their baby.
I noticed other people in the office.
Especially a white haired, short-statured lady in front of me.
She seemed rather frail, and my prayers for her included God ministering trust in Him to her.
It seems the elderly are suffering so much these days and it breaks my heart.
Not long before my time was up the young man to my left had reached the anticipated “good to go” from the nurse.
He quietly packed his things, including a shiny laptop which sent reflections of sunlight streaming into my face.
I knew it wasn’t anything, but an accidental happen-stance.
So, I bent my head closer to my work and continued to count stitches.
To my surprise his voice came next.
“Ma’am, I’m sorry if I bothered you with my laptop. I didn’t mean to get sun in your eyes. I hope you don’t mind?”
I looked up and smiled behind my mask.
I shook my head and replied.
“No, not at all. Just one of those things.”
His eyes looked a bit squinty, like he wasn’t sure.
“Well, I’m terribly sorry for bothering you.”
“You didn’t. Really it’s fine. Thank you for apologising, but it’s really fine.”
I was still smiling behind my mask.
Of course the young man had to keep his distance, so I can’t be certain, but he looked less concerned.
Infact, I think he was smiling behind his mask too.
That night I related to my husband my joy at running across a polite young man who cared for others.
Upon reflection of the whole visit, God revealed something.
I’m going to have to learn a new skill.
I’m going to need to read people’s eyes behind their masks.
I never thought time with the public would come to this.
But I know God wants me to remember those are people behind the masks.
People He loves dearly.
Whether I agree with these policies or not, I can continue to love others.
I can continue to stand fast in prayer for my fellow man, my country, and the world.
I can continue to be sure that my mask does not keep in the love that God wants to show to those around me.
So whether someone is hiding behind a cloth mask or a fake representation of themselves, I need to love and pray for them.
And of course there are many, many, many, people who have their protective gear on to protect those they are treating.
They too need prayer.
I’m also praying that God will help me, that my eyes will shine the warmth, love, and compassion that my smile can no longer communicate.
Although I’ve been guilty of saying, “I’m over the mask”, I’m trying to adjust my attitude to thinking about who is behind each mask I see.
And I’m praying for a renewed perspective.
Not to simply wait out the things which are uncomfortable, but instead to find the truths God has for me within it.
After all, nothing is permanent, except Jesus Christ and life with Him.
John 5:24 KJV — Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.