Is anyone else still trying to smile at people through their mask? It has been a full year and I still can’t help myself.
When I walk into the grocery store, I say hello and smile at the greeter.
When I sneak past someone in one of the aisles, I smile and say excuse me.
I give a hearty thank you to the check-out clerk and, yes, I smile.
It’s a reflex, and in a non-face-mask-wearing world, I think it’s a good one. It lets people know I’m trying to be friendly, and I hope, in a small way, it reflects my love for God.
Scripture tells us others will know we are Jesus’ disciples by our love for each other. Sometimes I feel the weight of that.
It is not easy to show love to everyone all the time, and if I’m not showing love, I’m not properly representing my God.
Smiling has always been my small, go-to act of love—it’s easy and inexpensive. Most people will reciprocate. But today, in a world where we are relying on masks to help keep us healthy, my smiles aren’t being seen.
Are my other actions representing a follower of Christ?
Not long ago I was at a craft store to buy materials to put together a couple of wreaths. I had gathered flowers and other things I needed then decided to browse through another part of the store. A woman saw the flowers and commented on how much she liked them. Then she asked me what I planned to do with them.
At this point I could have said, “None of your business, lady,” rolled my eyes and walked away. I could’ve complained that she wasn’t six feet from me and asked her to back off.
Instead, I told her my plans, and we even got into the specifics of how I was going to complete them.
I smiled several times during this conversation—she did not see—but I hope she did see something different in me. I hope she felt warmth and kindness. I hope that five-minute conversation enhanced her day as it did mine.
When I show God’s love, it not only affects the recipient. It affects me too. Even if I find myself in a situation where it is not well-received, I know I did what God commanded. I loved.
I encourage you to keep smiling under your mask. It might not be seen, but it can be felt.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.