The Mask

Friday, May 8, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Footprints Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 42:5 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)

1 John 4:11-12 – Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us. (GNT)

We are created as social beings, meant to interact with others. The important thing is whether our interactions with others show God's love.

One of the most common greetings is the handshake — now, not allowed. Some of us would normally give a touch on the shoulder or a hug, whether a light one or an affectionate bear hug, indicating warm and supportive caring. Again, with social distancing, touching and hugging are no longer allowed.

But the most common manner in which we greet others is the way in which we look at them. Sometimes, we frown or glare or greet them in a negative way. However, the best way, and probably the most common way, is with a smile. It takes little effort but brings much blessing to the giver and especially to the recipient.

Now, here comes the mask.

Initially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much discussion about masks. Certainly, there was a realization that surgical masks like the N95 were essential for health-care workers. But face coverings for the public were generally considered to prevent the user from infecting others but not necessarily efficient in protecting the wearer from others who might be infected. In any case, things have evolved to the level that at least in some areas everyone who leaves their house is supposed to wear a mask of some sort.

Whether this has any real benefit or not in limiting the spread of the pandemic is uncertain, but one thing is definite. It has taken away the easiest and most helpful way of communicating our love to others — the smile!

The staff where I live all wear masks and face shields. There are frequent comments made about how sad it is that we are unable to see their lovely smiles. Some put decorations on their clear shields, while others try to communicate with their eyes and foreheads, but it is a challenge.

There is an old song that says,

    Keep on smilin', 'cause when you're smilin'
    The whole world smiles with you.

This COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made it more difficult to share God's love in the normal way — no shaking hands, hugging, or even smiling.

But God's love is still ours.

I know that it's my challenge, and yours also, to find different ways to communicate His love in positive though different ways.

Prayer: Dear Father, as we live through these different, difficult, and challenging days, help us to remember that Your love never changes. May we be resourceful in finding ways to communicate the love of Jesus in a positive manner. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Thank you.

    Yes, let it be so!! Thank you, Vincent!

    May it be so, Vincent. Be safe. Sending you a smile.

    Thanks, Martin. I hadn’t thought about masks from this perspective.

    Vincent is back. I was just asking myself, where is Vincent, as I sat down to read the devotional.

    Thanks Vincent, well said. It is so challenging for many, but your message brings hope. God bless!

    Thank you, Vincent, for encouraging us today through your devotional. Let’s keep smiling, because when we do, our eyes twinkle a smile back at others. Blessings.

    Thank you for forwarding this, Vince! And wow! It’s so true! COVID has robbed us of so much! What an effective hand the devil is playing. But thanks be to God, He is bigger!

    Spot on.
    A virtual smile to you.

    Thank you, Vince. You message is right on the mark.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and taking in your devotional.

    Some people decorate their masks, even a smiley face.
    I am trying to send happy e-mails.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for this kind and insightful message!
    I agree to not see a smile is very sad.
    May God smile upon you today and every day.

    Dear Walter, Thank you for your encouraging message in this fragile time.
    Yes, we all have to be safe in any way we can. It seems now when I go for a walk people turn their whole head away from you. I’m leaving you with a smile.

    Dear Vincent,
    This is a lovely and very important message to remind us of still greeting others with love in new and different ways. May you feel the love of others and God as we remember to show it with a wave, with some words, with a little skip in our step.

    Vince: you shower blessings upon your readers with timely and down-to-earth wisdom garnered from your years walking with God. Today I am reminded of my good fortune to be living in a household with grandchildren who administer hugs regularly.
    Thanks for your faithfulness.

    But God’s love is still ours.
    Yes, V. Walter, this is the most important factor of life in God’s world.
    Keep writing.
    And please keep praying that God will inspire those scientists world-wide working hard to produce anti-virus cures, protections, and preventive serums for the Covid virus disease. I pray for their success for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

    Hi Vincent:
    It was so good to read your devotional this morning. I am very happy to know you are safe and healthy. I am one of those people who loves to give big hugs and warm greetings. Now I have to do it with phone calls, emails, Facebook and like this, responding to your kind words of wisdom.
    God bless you Walter and stay safe and healthy.

    Dear Walter,
    Blessings to you, your message and choice of verses.
    My wife is a nurse and is struggling with all the change and uncertainty and garb that she must wear. She sends you a “hug” and we thank you for your expression of God’s love.

    Greetings Vince,
    So good to have a devotional from you again. I hope you have stayed well during this confinement time and your devotional is so right on about the way communication has changed as we deal with the restrictions during this time. Having to wear masks certainly lessens the warmth and uplift of receiving a smile on someone’s face.
    Blessings for your writing.

    Dear Vincent,
    Greetings in Jesus name. Thank you sharing your devotion with us today, it really meant so much to me.
    It is indeed a very frustrating and frightening time for us.
    Praying this pandemic virus will pass soon.
    I wish you all very best and that you will remain blessed and be safe.
    Stay strong.
    Sending you a virtual hug.
    God bless you richly.

    What a lovely devotional, reminding us of the healing blessing of a smile! Leadership for the fight against the virus has come in BC from a very knowledgeable and wise Dr, Bonnie Henry, who has become somewhat of a “Rockstar”(she’s even had a fashionable pair of shoes designed, a fundraiser)
    She always ends her updates with “Stay home, stay safe, and be kind to each other” There’s now t-shirts with “be kind” on them!
    Whether we wear a mask, or not, we can certainly model “smiley behaviour!”
    Blessings on you and the Care Home you live in, hope you’ve stayed safe!

    I have been worried and praying for you and everyone at your facility. I had missed your devotions so hoped that you were well.
    At this difficult time, we need to pray for everyone. I know ON has been hard hit as I have a son working in Toronto. I live in NL so we have kept our cases mostly under control since we had a big surge from someone come from Fl to her father’s funeral and ended up infecting 200 people.
    Keep well and wear your mask so you are safer. If everyone wore one, I feel the epidemic may be controlled.

    I always enjoy your devotionals thank you again.

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