Ok. I am about to burst. I just have to do this.
It’s tough to venture to in this current situation, but (deep breath) let me just out with it:
I. Hate. Masks!!!
Ahhh. That is better. Not unlike when you get home from being out in polite society and (carefully) yank off said mask. 😏
Oh, let me reassure you, I am not saying this to be a political activist or a fist-shaking rebel.
Longtime readers know I am not your typical fan-the-political-flames or rebellious sort.
No knee-jerk offerings here. 🙂
For, where I will most unapologetically say as a Christian, I don’t think we should be wallowing in panic, I neither presume to know best on this or just how to sort through the maze of confusing information, conspiracy theory du jours, and what have you.
Because, doggone it, Jim, to flip what Bones always said:
I am a mom. Not a doctor.😏
And, yet, being a mom-a mom of special needs as well as one with her own neurological and physical differences, I just can’t help it.
I hate masks.
For what they do to my children and I physically.
Oh, yes, I know we ought to be above it all for others’ sake.
Kids are resilient (And, in many ways, they actually are. This is not news to me!).
You get “used” to it. They’ll get “used” to it.
It’s for the good of our fellow man.
If you struggle that much, just shut yourself in your home 24/7.
I have heard it all.
Yet, it’s not so simple for some of us and I wish others would acknowledge this without talking it down.
You see, it’s been a rather painful period in our little community.
We are at a dismayingly cold war over this issue.
Between balancing caution and compassion as school begins again.
Frankly, there are no easy choices. I get that.
Firstly, I know this point without a doubt:
Online education cannot replicate everything.
My kids did all right in the spring, praise God, but we all know there are things they love and thrive on that I just cannot provide o solo mio.
Yet, we mustn’t be careless in the process of reopening. I do believe in Godly wisdom. We can’t be wily-nily on this and expect good results.
And, yet…we are all becoming so sharply opinionated around here, we are forgetting what our small town has always shared.
Namely, friendship. Or so I thought from my admittedly, nearly perpetually, introverted distance. 😔
But, then, maybe, this highlighted to me what is disconcerting to realize is still true- that I really don’t get that word, “friend”.
For, what is a “friend”, really?
I use the term often here and I want to be clear-I genuinely mean it in referring to each of you I interact with.
You are each very dear to me. I have felt your fellowship on an authentically personal level.
Yet, I fear to broach the question, but feel I must for the sake of my honesty-is it easier for me to do here because it’s not in person?
Probably, to be frank.
The written word is my forte.
In person, I am a gangly-mouthed mess (Add a mask and, boy, howdy!).
Shoot, even the phone is not much better.
I have to practice basic conversation.
It’s rather embarrassing, folks. 🙄
Anyway, moving on…
A further thought on this-
We sometimes sing at church, “What a friend we have in Jesus…”.
And I love and believe and embrace that fact in Him.
No doubt there.
And, yet, there is a persistent lack of truly knowing that word “friend” well in my heart or life experience.
So much so that I don’t know that I really know sometimes what it even feels like-in person, anyway.
Whenever everybody was pairing off on the grade school playground, I was off in a corner, gathering sticks or wandering the perimeter, eyes downcast, affecting an unconcern that I most definitely did not feel.
For, those eyes were fixed down out of abject fear.
Fear they’d collide with another’s.
Fear they’d see into my soul.
Fear the pain of that and the sure judgment to follow was just more than I could bear.
I could sometimes bear a swift glance in the vicinity, though it was more likely to be a nose or mouth I was comfortable fixing on.
Especially the mouth. For, there I could at least discern frown or smirk or smile.
I wasn’t always sure if what I saw was genuine, but it was easier to interpret for the most part.
And, now, all these decades, two marriages, four kids, a career, autism acknowledgement and, most importantly a life decision for Christ later, I am still so often that little girl on the perimeter.
Even here in everybody-knows-everybodyville.
Oh, I have found my ways and my niches, facilitated my kids in the same.
Yet, my longing remains both to be a part and yet to steal away.
Of the aching to trust and the anxiety of whether I really can.
So…needless to say, in this current climate of bickering over social distance and masks everywhere you go, I am experiencing a lot of inner turmoil.
There are those whose faces my kids and I cannot read.
I love the clear masks and pray more and more have access to them. They are great for more than just those who lip read.
In fact, as soon as I discovered them, I got onboard and bought some.
But, even that boils down largely to choice. And most are still choosing coverings that conceal the vast majority of their face.
The best we can do with most is a fleeting look into the eyes.
And what we see there is often the disapproving and the fearful if my kids or I happen to be having a hard day with the enforced coverings, compliant though we are trying to be.
Then, there are those whose faces are uncovered save their bright red spots of anger that any would be attempting a mask at all.
And neither is good.
Both strive to seem holy.
One the pious do-gooder.
The other filled with “righteous” indignation.
Yet, neither truly trying to understand the other.
Or, for many, remember they are supposed to be family in Christ.
It’s disheartening, always feeling caught in between.
Wanting to see peace between opposing forces.
To do right somehow by all simultaneously.
And still kindly advocate for my dear ones and myself in the process.
Hoping somewhere out there is a friend in the midst of this mess, knowing we mean well, yet also acknowledging what we are daily up against is much more multifaceted than the mere fight against a virus.
I further hope we can unmask kindness, be it in their eyes or the whole face. 🙂
I have no answers here save the knowledge that even if I still struggle at times with the concept of friendship, what a friend we have in Jesus.
And I know He is the friend that is always here to help us bear it all…
Thank you for reading, you whom I also feel I can always call friends! I love and appreciate each of you. So much I know I can request your prayers as I extend my own to you. These are challenging days and I know we are going to need much strength. Blessings to each of you! ❤