“Say puppies!” said the photographer. This is what I heard as I took my second grade class to get their pictures taken on picture day. However, he proceeded to say, “Smile, even though you are wearing a mask. Your eyes will show that you are smiling.”
I understood why his cue was “Say puppies.” At this simple phrase, the children’s lips automatically move sideways, conveying a smile. I do agree that our eyes can indicate expressions of happiness or other emotions as well.
“The eyes are the window to the soul” is a common saying that dates back to the 1500s.
Did you ever have a friend or relative ask you how you are, and your typical response is “Fine.” If they personally know you, they may look in your eyes and say, “Are you okay, or is something wrong?” Our eyes deliver feelings that our words do not and offer a glimpse into our soul to those who know us really well. When our eyes are wide open and upright, they may suggest fear or surprise. If our eyes are squinted, they can imply confusion or fatigue. If our eyes are droopy, they convey sadness or worry. All of these expressions can be communicated — even when wearing a mask.
Although there are many mask mandates, does the Lord know our thoughts behind the mask? Rest assured, we cannot hide behind our mask. Eyes are mentioned numerous times in scripture. This one in particular relates to the eye:
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)
Many of the translations of this verse refer to the eye being the lamp of the body, reflecting one’s spiritual health, and giving insight to our soul.
Even though we are mandated to wear masks in many places, we cannot wear a spiritual mask. The Lord knows our thoughts, and others who know us well can see it in our eyes.
In the natural sense, the one thing I miss most when wearing a mask is smiling at others. My husband always comments, “Why do people smile when they see you?” My response is “Because I smile first.” I have caught myself smiling while wearing a mask, and then I realize why I am not eliciting the reciprocal smile that I am used to receiving. I have resorted to nodding my head and using expression with my eyes.
Whether I am masked or unmasked, I cannot hide my true feelings from those who know me best and, most of all, from the Lord. He has a glimpse into my soul, and it is my hope that my eyes transmit the light of Him each day even when wearing a mask.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.