Cover your face if you must but don’t shroud your soul.

The CDC has suggested that the American public wear masks. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, one can see their point. Our health officials are concerned for the nation’s wellbeing; they are acting out of their knowledge of the body and immunity and virology.

As this virus continues its sadistic trek around the globe, the governments of our world are doing their best to respond to it; it’s difficult to ascertain how far to go, I’m sure. And, as with any public crisis, caution can mushroom into drama. Our natural fear of death (and all of us have it) attaches to our inclination for sensation and then fires our imagination and boom – anxieties rise and stories are enhanced and households run for the bunker.

It is right to take appropriate cover. But what is that exactly?

I am reminded of the brave Brits who slept in what they called “the tube” (the London Underground Transit stations) during the Blitz. Driven below the earth by Hitler’s Luftwaffe, the men and women of England slept in the trains and on the platforms of the tunnels, determined to stay alive. The bombing raids took from them their comfort and their normalcy, but they refused to let it rob them of their grit. They slept in the earth by night and worked above ground by day. And they refused to let the protective shroud under which they slept begin to wall off their hearts. They stayed human, sensitive, open, alive.

We are in a different war, but we must take a cue from our British friends and refuse to cloak our spirits. Some of us may choose to veil our faces, but all of us must keep vulnerable souls. When we begin to let the foe in front of us rob us of our tranquility and humanity, we have become our own enemy.

I have begun to observe a skittishness in my neighbors and fellow townspeople. We are afraid of one another. When we happen to move too close to someone in the grocery store aisle or checkout line, we immediately jerk back with an apology, especially if the other person glares at us. I suppose some of this is normal at this point in the crisis, since we are still “social distancing” and the nationwide regulations are still in place. But I want us, you and me, as Christ-followers especially, not to let this attitude become an inner barrier. We can be considerate and responsible during this time and yet retain, in our hearts and reasoning, an awareness that we must live in wholeness as human beings, fully alive. We must not allow this germ to steal from us our vitality and positivity and serenity. It may change our surroundings, but it must not change our core.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. And he wrote while he was in captivity. He wrote to them of the truths he had discovered in his own physical hardships. He wrote that the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Our hearts and minds can be guarded, kept, preserved. Yes, we are susceptible to this world’s microbes in our bodies, but we are sustained in our souls by our Father.

Psalm 121:5, 7 promises The Lord is your keeper. . . The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.

While we fight this vicious illness in the outer world, He has promised to be our keeper of the inner person. He will help us stay loving and sensitive and human and not recede into a state of sterile fear. So, wear whatever shields you must on your physical nose and mouth but keep your heart open-faced and alive through Him.

Live with un unmasked soul.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

Heavenly Father, preserve my soul from the paralysis Satan would like to put there. Keep me soft toward You and sensitive toward others, fully alive in every way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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