The Mask Comes Off

Walked into church this morning and was greeted with the new CDC guidance: The mask can come off if you are vaccinated. In addition, there were no pews roped off. My little church in Northeast Pennsylvania was open for business once again. Normal business. Well, almost normal. You couldn’t sing. What’s up with that?

The mask has represented so much during the past year. Taken literally, it’s protection for you and the people around you to cut down on spreading airborne particles of the virus. To others, it represented just another move by the government to take away your independent liberties. I hated the mask but I wore it because I know that it protects me and others. What I really hated was only being able to look into other people’s eyes. I had to learn to smile with my eyes.

It was good to see faces again. To see smiles all around me. To hear people’s voices not muffled by the mask but clear voices. To take in whole faces.

As I wrote in a previous post, yes, Jesus would have worn a mask. He would have worn it because He would want to protect others, before Himself. Because the civil authorities required Him to wear a mask. But Jesus would have missed seeing whole faces. To seeing smiles. To hearing clear voices.

I hope in this crazy, upside-down world of ours we can start returning to “normal”—whatever “normal” is. But most of all, I hope we can smile. And see smiles. They have been covered for too long. It’s time for smiles to come out like flowers in spring. Let’s all try to spread some smiles.

Have a GREAT week ahead. And smile!!!

What Would Jesus Do?

I’m dating myself but I remember those WWJD wrist bands that were all the rage 20 years ago or so. I don’t think that today you will find many people—any people—wearing wrist bands touting What Would Jesus Do?. But I’ve found myself thinking about What Would Jesus Do? and trying to answer that question relative to several current events.

Would Jesus storm the U.S. Capitol or be part of a mob looting stores in U.S. cities? The answer is clear. No. Jesus would not be involved with either the “right” or the “left” destroying property or human lives. The most Jesus did in a fit of anger was to overturn the tables of the money changers outside the temple. Nothing was destroyed. Jesus simply made a statement.

Would Jesus be some pundit on TV pulling people right or left, just for the sake of making money? Again, the answer is a clear no. Although Jesus said he came to divide, that division was actually about uniting. Jesus drew people to himself so that He could be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins—past, present, and future.

Would Jesus live His life judging others? No again. Jesus clearly told us to first fix ourselves before we try to tell others what they are doing wrong. Jesus’ clear message was that we shouldn’t be judges.

I could go on and on but will stop here. It’s just so cleansing to look at your life and those around you and ask What Would Jesus Do?. I’m not talking about judging others. I’m simply asking the question of What Would Jesus Do? You don’t need a trendy wrist band that most wouldn’t be caught dead wearing today. I’m simply talking about asking what Jesus would do in all types of situations.

Have a GREAT week ahead. And ask yourself What Would Jesus Do?.

Cleaning The Closets

We moved. After 25 years in the same house and 35 years in Connecticut we have moved. Well, kind of moved. It’s complicated. We are going to end up in North Carolina but for the next nine months we are living in Pennsylvania. Why am I boring you with these details? Because moving entails cleaning a lot of “stuff” out of your closets. It makes you think about all you have and all that others don’t have. It’s humbling.

There is another aspect of moving that makes you think. It’s actually gratifying looking at your completely empty house for the last time. We donated a lot of our clothes, furniture, and other possessions to two good charities. You feel good slimming down and making good use of things that others can better use. I found out it feels good to clean a closet and even better to clear out a house. You lighten up, you free up.

This move has made me think about cleaning out the “closets” in my life. Not physical closets but the mental ones where we tend to accumulate emotions, life scars, things we don’t want to deal with, etc. It has to be as liberating to clean out the life “closets” as the real closets in our former house. Maybe more difficult to clean but I can tell you those real closets were no picnic—they had a lot of stuff in them!

I could go on and on about moving and how it has made me reflect on life. It’s tough but refreshing. It’s closing one chapter in the book of life and opening up a new one. Lighter, stronger, and ready for new surroundings.

Have an AMAZING weekend!!! Do some cleaning.