I know I’m late to the party but lateness be damned! I have to talk about nose masks. No, I’m not going to tell Christians to wear nose mask. And no, I’m not going to tell Christians to disregard nose masks either. I’m going to talk about those wearing it “for mask sake.”
What does it mean to wear a mask “for mask sake”?
Well, let’s backtrack a little bit. A tiny little bit.
Covid happened and we were implored to wear masks to protect ourselves from the deadly corona virus. Brilliant idea if you ask me but we are not asking me so, forget it. So, as I was saying – typing? – we were asked to wear nose masks and like with everything you ask human beings to do, the reactions varied.
A few reactions:
One sect readily wore it, even to bed. Some refused. It was against their 7,506th amendment right. And, yes, they couldn’t even breathe precious oxygen with it. “Others” reassured the rest of the world that they didn’t need it. They were Christians and Christians can’t “gain” covid or “spread” covid. I mean, if Jesus was alive, would he wear a mask to prevent others from getting a disease from him? Did Jesus not touch people with leprosy? Was he trying to protect himself? Nonsense. Oh, ye of little faith!
I’m not interested in the “others”. I wish I was but if you’re a faithful reader, you’ll already know theology isn’t exactly my forte; I’m still trying to get God to change my grades.
Now, I don’t find the others a tad interesting. The reason I’m talking – writing? – about them now is because the ensuing argument between the others and non-others is usually very interesting. Voices are raised, Bibles are opened, Pastors are quoted. Did the Bible not say “obey constituted authority”? How do you think non-believers will perceive us? So, it’s okay if people don’t feel safe around us? So, the Christians who contracted covid are not really Christians? Did you take the polio vaccine as a child? Why do you wear recommended glasses? Yada. Yada. Yada.
When the exchange becomes too tense for comfort, some well-meaning person amongst them quickly says something along these lines:
“While it is important we stand out and have faith and separate ourselves from those of this world, we must also obey the govt. (Quotes some scripture and cites some instances). I believe the right thing is to wear the mask for the sake of wearing the mask. Is it not mask? We will wear it, in solidarity, but not for one second do we believe that the mask protects us. Our help comes from God. Only God can protect us. Some trust in horses, some in Chariots but we trust in the name of the Lord. So, lets wear their mask for them.”
Naturally, the argument dies and the others and non-others disperse. Everybody moves on but I’m still thinking about what the well-meaning person has said. The mask cannot protect us. Only God can protect us.
Now, remember my theological ignorance and that my faith is in apparent ruins (see evidence here) but how does anyone walk away from that statement? Maybe there is nothing wrong with it on first hearing but what about the third? The fifth? The twenty-ninth?
The mask cannot protect you? Really? Are you kidding me? The. Mask. Cannot. Protect. You?
Cos its ordinary? Simple? Nothing dramatic? Nothing spiritual?
The mask can and will protect you. The mask and every other precaution protects you. If you follow the covid precautions, you protect yourself from the virus. This fact doesn’t diminish God. It is simply logic. While welding, you wear a face shield. It protects your face. In winter, you wear a coat. It protects your body. While doing electrical work, you wear a glove. You don’t get electrocuted. Why is wearing a mask any different?
I have sat with many Christians whom I trusted to know better and explained this to them. My opinion was met with disdain and a shrug that translates to, “It’s you and I’m not surprised you would think so.” I even told my friend it’s like wearing a seatbelt and if this and this happens to your car, you are salvaged. It’s pretty simple.
Her response was: “How do you place your trust in a piece of fabric?”
Omo. Look around. Do the math. The reason you have lived so far is because you have trusted people and things.
The next thing she said was, “people wear mask and still die of covid. It’s God that protects people.”
My initial response was “lol” but I swallowed it. I tried to be more Christian. Yunno, let my speech be seasoned with salt and all that. I was unsuccessful. I lol-ed twice.
Do people who wear mask die of covid? Yes.
Do people who do not wear masks die of covid? Yes.
Can the mask still protect you? Yes.
Should you be confident it will do its job? Yes.
Let’s try another example:
Do people who wear coats catch cold? Yes.
Do people who do not wear coats catch cold? Yes.
Can the coat protect you? Yes.
Should you be confident it will do its job? Yes.
Let’s try yet another example. (I’m a bit wary about this example because it would seem I’m comparing an almighty being to things or that I’m trying too hard but it’s my blog and it’s my thought and if I cannot be honest, this blog is pointless).
Do God’s children die? Yes.
Do “non-God’s children” die? Yes.
Can God protect you? Yes.
Should you be confident God will protect you? Yes.
These examples show that these “events” are not isolated. They show that “nature” and “outcome” don’t have to necessarily unite. The mask, bless it’s ordinariness, can protect you and this does not diminish God’s ableness. But what do I know?
Sighs. I have many things to say but I’m mentally exhausted. There are too many threads to tug at and I don’t think I want to anymore. The church’s reaction to covid has been an entire learning curve for me but I don’t think I’ll write any further on it. Make do with this.
If you want be among the others, please be amongst them. The non-others don’t need cheap, condescending solidarity. And yes, I like to think I speak for them.