May, the Peace of God, and Masks.

I haven’t blogged in nearly two months. Not since the pandemic broke out. It seems the most hopeful words I can offer are, “Don’t be stupid.” Followed up by, ”Don’t listen to stupid either.”

As this is meant to be an inspirational post I have to check my rage, anxiety, and befuddlement at the door of my shelter in home and consider what I might be able to do to foster understanding, nuture self care, and compassion in a community already overloaded with opinions and trauma.

In an effort to keep things simple, but not simplistic, let me suggest that wearing a protective face mask in public is a visual aid to the commandment to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I’m tempted to stop there.

We’re to discern the Spirit. The call to stillness is still a call to action. We shelter in place with millions of people. Some of us are already grieving. Some of us are recovering. All of us are wondering who is this all of us that’s in this thing together.

In the movies, when earth is threatened by invaders from outer space, the whole world bands together as the handsome Hollywood actors brandish weapons and grit to save humanity. Today’s heroes work overtime to alleviate suffering. I doubt there has ever been so many Good Samaritans in the news cycle. But my fear is we haven’t seen anything yet, and the premature hope that this will all go away is more wishful thinking than trusting in God

God trusts us to get this right. To acknowledge that every minute, every personal contact counts. I’m certain our social media is awash with charities and community services that would benefit from our contributions. Faith without works is dead and too many of us are already.

If and when we survive this mess and look back on May 2020 my hope is it will be the turning point in our lives when we realized kindness is the currency of the Kingdom. Even at six feet apart we can extend a hand to the frightened and hopeless. We can sing from the balcony and shout from the rooftops. Even with masks we can look each other in the eye and see what God sees.

Will Schmit

Will Schmit is a volunteer outreach prison minister for Lifehouse Church in McKinleyville Ca. He is the author of Head Lines A Sixty Day Guide to Personal Psalmistry and Jesus Inside A Prison Minister's Memoir and Training Manual both available at Amazon Books and The website also includes poetry, ministry updates, and music downloads from Bring To Glory a CD of spoken word with coffee house jazz.

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