Here we are in the middle, or peak, of a global pandemic, the likes of which no one living on our planet has ever seen before. In four or five or six weeks (anyone else losing track?) time, we’ve adjusted from going to staying, from out to in, and from carefree to way, way, way careful. This week, masks become mandatory in Dallas, and while I’m ready, I must say that I am so very glad Moses wasn’t instructed to inscribe an 11th commandment on his tablets of stone: Thou shalt wear a mask.
Getting the Order
I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but it has. If I had been watching the news more than I have, I would easily be able to recite the statistical reasons why thou shalt wear a mask; however, I’ve all but quit watching. It’s mostly just tew merch for an Enneagram 7 type like me.
Thankfully, my source, Mr. Enneagram Type 5, enjoys research, which includes online and on-tv, so he watches enough for the both of us. I depend on him to keep me in the loop. But when a major change is coming down the pike, I also will get an email from a higher-up in the law firm where I work.
First, we were given guidelines for a new social distancing work schedule, which included working from home. Next, we were provided with instructions on hand-washing and other ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 around the office. An online resource center was set up, where employees can go to read more about the current crisis, how things are evolving, and how it affects my coworkers and me.
The newest email from the top centers around a new commandment: Thou shalt wear a mask.
I’m a Little Claustrophobic
Working from home has been a smooth transition. Staying home has been a little harder. I’m an explorer, y’all. You know I love adventure, and this has put me behind on my long list of Texas things to see and do. Even more difficult has been not getting to see (and hug) our family members.
Yes, that’s been a huge struggle for me, and I’m sure it has for you as well. But the mask thing feels like, to me, the icing on this very unappetizing cake. It’s here that I want to scream I’m. So. Over. This.
I mean, I’m a resilient Texan Over Fifty, and I’ve truly handled a lot of stuff in my life. The current crisis will be the one our children tell their grandchildren about, like our grandparents told us about The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl and World War II. It’s big, it’s bad, and it’s important that we work together to get through it. I get all that.
But I’m a little claustrophobic, and I don’t want the current order to be the thing that pushes me over the edge.
A Timely Insight
Every morning, I get up early and head to a spot in the living room of our apartment that I like to call my reading nook. There’s a big chair, a table of just-right-size, and a built-in shelf where I lay my Bible above my stack of current reads. I start with the Bible. First, I read a page, section or chapter, then I write a little something in the margin about how it relates to my life. Then I get a cup of coffee and read books for a while.
Obviously, for some time now, my margin musings and prayers have had a theme which revolves around the current state of world affairs. As God would have it, I was already reading in the book of Leviticus when the coronavirus reared its ugly head and we began the war against it. Now, the otherwise monotonous instructions, given to God’s people thousands of years ago, are jumping off the page with new life and meaning for today.
It’s here in Leviticus 14 where God has told Moses what regulations to give his people that they might avoid and deal with infectious skin diseases. There’s much to read about offerings brought to God and how his people could be atoned for their sins. The verse my granddaughter and I memorized from this book says: Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. The people managed their health and abided by the rules so that they could live to enjoy generation after generation of God’s provision and blessing.
Basically, before God sent Jesus to die on the cross, his blood shed as the final sacrifice for our sins, people who wanted to be in fellowship with a holy God had to do things that set them apart. They consecrated themselves and lived by holy standards because their relationship with God demanded obedience to his laws.
This was what I wrote in the margin of my Bible yesterday at Leviticus 22:
“I am the Lord, who makes you holy.” (22:15) On Monday, we start wearing masks. I’m so dreading that! (A) I hate to touch my face or have anything touch it. (B) I am slightly (or a lot) claustrophobic. Something over my mouth and nose will be hard to get used to. (C) We don’t have any masks, so I’ll have to make them. But, I have to do it, because Dallas has issued an order for public places and because my boss is requiring that I wear one on my assigned days in the office.
This has certainly given me a timely insight, a way to relate a litte more to the Israelites whose requirements from God were much more strict. No leniency. No options. If you wanted to be in fellowship with God, the commands written on these pages were the things which must be done. On Monday, if I want to be in fellowship with my job or my grocery store or my walking trail, I will wear a mask. This is the thing which must be done.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of your Son, the sacrifice for my sin. He provided the only covering I will ever need. I can worship you with my mouth when I sing and speak. My nose when I smell delicious food or beautiful flowers. You have not restrained me to come into your presence, and I am so grateful. But I will wear a mask in the presence of other people, starting tomorrow.
Whether I like it or not, this is the thing which must be done.
Are You Wearing a Mask?
One of our daughters is a nurse. She’s been comfortable wearing a surgical mask since she started working in the OR several years ago. Here’s a picture of her mask-wearing team, and that’s her at the back, looking like she’s totally comfortable and in charge.
Keagon, our son who lives in DC, was the first of us to try to make one while being quarantined at home. He positioned a t-shirt from his nose to his chest. But when he looked in the bathroom mirror, he realized the bunched up part in the back made him look like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. LOL
I dragged out my sewing machine and my one box of fabric, thread and such yesterday, ready to tackle the making of a mask according to the CDC regulations. I set up everything on the dining table and positioned my iPad close by, so that I could watch a tutorial and follow along.
When I found this one on a friend’s Facebook page, I thought, hey. She looks about my age. Maybe I should watch. What a great laugh. In my mind, I was headed exactly where this lady had comedically been!
Tomorrow, I’ll post a picture of me in my claustrophobia-diminishing version of a face mask on my Facebook page. So be sure to check it out. In the meantime, I love you a bunch. I know we’re all praying this will be over soon!
Encouraging a lifetime filled with everyday intentional adventure, even if thou shalt wear a mask,