The Smile Above The Mask

Sunday, March 7, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Could I Speak The Matchless Worth"1 (Lyrics)

It's an unusual time that we're living in during these mask-wearing days of our global pandemic. Full facial expression — something that we normally take for granted — is no longer possible. Communication can be hampered when others cannot see movement of lips. Nonetheless, many emotions can be communicated through our eyes. Shock, grief, fear, surprise, and joy can all be seen in one's eyes, but a smile is also clearly visible. The eyes are said to be the window to the soul and express one's inner feelings.

The eyes are a two-way portal between people. Our eyes are the avenue for seeing others around us, as well as being a means of revealing our feelings to others. This is a swinging door, allowing us to both reveal and perceive interpersonal connections.

This visual of a two-way portal can be taken a step further in a spiritual, symbolic way. God's wondrous, loving care of His children is often poetically expressed in terms of God's watchful eye upon us. A favourite gospel song tells us that "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." King Hezekiah of Judah, in great distress when his country was being threatened by the Assyrian army, begged God, "Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!" (2 Kings 19:16b NLT)

As King Hezekiah learned, when God sees us, He shows tenderness and compassion. In turn, we can look to God, as did King Jehoshaphat when his people faced grave danger from the invading Moabite army. (This seems to be a recurring theme in Jewish history, doesn't it?) King Jehoshaphat cried out to God, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." (2 Chronicles 20:12b NIV)

When we look to God in trust, we express our love and obedience to Him, as well as showing our reliance upon Him to supply our needs and help in time of danger. Looking to God evidences our trust in Him for strength to do — or endure — things that are beyond our capability. In turn, this confident trust in His protection results in lasting joy and happiness.

And so it is: God looks upon us with eyes of tenderness and compassion, and we look to Him with eyes of trust.

Now let's go back to the original thought of this devotional — the smile above the mask. Let the smile above your mask not be just a cheerful smile expressing happiness. Let it also be a smile of joy-filled trust and confidence in God in facing the troubles of today. Others will be blessed by this visible sign of inner peace as it evidences our trust in God. Further, may we look upon others with tenderness and compassion as God has modelled for us.

Prayer: O Lord, we know that we can trust You as we look to You for strength and help in time of need. We know that You see us and will provide abundantly. As we look to You in faith, may we show loving compassion toward others, as You have shown it toward us. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, lovely devotional.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Gail.

    Amen Gail.
    Beautiful devotional, thanks for sharing.

    Good morning Gail
    Good devotional this morning, like you said, “When we look to God in trust, etc. ”

    Dear Gail,
    While I miss seeing the facial expressions of others, especially the smiles, I will think of your words today. Thank you for your thoughtful devotion.

    The importance and simplicity of your words really move me today, Gail. Such a universal necessity at this moment. How do we keep on putting one foot after another? Through Christ who strengthens me for today’s journey. So glad to read you, always. Also really enjoyed reading the names of these obscure kings!

    Dear Gail,
    Thanks for a timely devotional this morning!! It really spoke to me today!
    I’ve been so thankful for FaceTime and Zoom meetings where we can still see faces. I have a hard time with all this new technology, but God is faithful, and he helps us when we do our part!
    May God continue to bless you and give you more challenging words to share with us.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    I liked your “smiles above the mask” thought. It made me think of “crow’s feet” and “brow lines” as permanent records of our facial history. Smiles and expressions of joy come with eye wrinkles, and brow lines come from a furrowed brow of frowning. It is hard to smile and frown at the same time, although in my high school days I am ashamed to admit that I made friends laugh by doing what I called a “Frile” to imitate my teacher’s odd smile that seemed to combine with a frown. Our smile wrinkles should always be seen when our face is “in repose!”

    Hello, Gail, on Sunday after hearing a message on HOPE, Hebrews 16:19-20. I not only HOPE, but I KNOW that I KNOW!! That’s my testimony for today. The small city I live in pulls together like I’ve never seen. God has a plan and is in charge. We’re finally back inside for worship but some groups still not meeting, and there are still rules. The mask rules are still hard to deal with and I have a wardrobe of beauties.
    I was born many years ago during a snowstorm, no phone, no street cleaners. To almost his dying day, my dad never changed his story. He had to walk to the doctor’s office, and he kept a big smile on his in case he froze to death. So I was born with a smile that sure stayed. Of course, life isn’t perfect, but I love to let my JOY known. We, as Christians, need not pass up opportunities to share what we believe, even with our masks in the way. So thank you, Gail, for stirring up a memory to share. God bless you.

    After what you shared, I will no longer feel the mask is a barrier.
    Thank you.


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