It is a fact that we have had to change how we do things since the COVID-19 quarantine. Then with the racial tension that is going on, all people are more hesitant about how to go about doing things. Maneuvering through or day to day life has become complicated. We have to consider how to approach other people, which we usually wouldn’t have to think twice about before.
We are social distancing.
We are wearing gloves.
We are wearing masks.
We are planning birthday or graduation parties differently. Where before you could buy bulk to save money, now buying individual servings: instead of a big bag of potato chips, we are buying individual servings. Necessary or unnecessary, it is how we are doing life. For now, anyhow.
Recently I heard a pastor’s perspective about what has been going on in our world, seeing it from Heaven’s lenses. Understanding the spiritual side of what is going on ‘globally.’ With the COVID virus attacking our ability to ‘breathe’ and George Floyd’s last recorded words being, “I Can’t Breathe.”
I won’t be able to quote the pastor’s message word for word: I am paraphrasing what was highlighted to me is. The enemy is trying to take the breath [or voice] away from the church. Two of the many scriptures that were pulled into his message: Genesis 2:7 and John 20:22. In the book of Genesis, God breathed into man’s nostrils. And in the book of John, Jesus breathed on the disciples to equip them with the Holy Spirit.
We are designed to make a difference – to speak words that cultivate the kingdom of Heaven here on earth—looking back to the original mandate. But we as a church have sat in our pews and kept to ourselves rather than ‘being’ the church: the church is not a building, it is the believers. We have sugar-coated what it means to cultivate a God-honoring world.
I do want to note that this pastor was not minimizing the evil injustice that happened in Minneapolis. He can better understand the cry of the hearts of many men and women, due to brutality, being a man of color himself.
I have shared many times, either in conversations or in writings, that our words have power. The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21. In general, we don’t realize how powerful our words are. To put it simply, if we speak kind words, we create an environment of kindness. We speak words of love; we create an atmosphere of love. And this includes the opposite; bitterness, and hate, as well.
I didn’t realize how true it is ‘that my words create’ till I heard pastor Claude B from Adrian Michigan say; We are created in God’s image, in his likeness. We don’t know what he ‘looks’ like, but we do know HE created with words. Since then, I have been ‘trying’ to evaluate my words before speaking. Sometimes I am successful; sometimes, I am not.
Today at church, I realized a new layer of what is going on in the spiritual. As you all know, I am a prayer person, an intercessor. For years I try to purpose my heart to sense what the Lord wants me to pray. I can be watching the news [not too often] and ask Lord, how am I to pray about that? I drive through different neighborhoods and ask Holy Spirit; what do you want me to pray into this area?
With what has been going on in the past two weeks, I have been praying: Lord helps us all see each other’s hearts, not their skin color. Help us look into the eyes of each other.
Then it dawned on me today! That is precisely what God is trying to get us to do! People are wearing masks, and rather than ‘judging’ them for wearing one or avoiding them altogether, how about looking at their eyes!! I mean, everything else about the face is covered, but the eyes.
When I look at someone in the eyes, I sometimes can see emotional pain: Lord what word, or prayer, do you want me to pray for them to ease their pain? Sometimes I can see physical pain: Lord, how do you want to heal that person, what is it that you want to do through me? Sometimes I can see depression: Lord, what is it that has this person so depressed and without hope? How can I serve the people who cross my path?
Often, I will engage in a conversation with those individuals that have been pushed aside by society, most are homeless, and I am always searching their eyes to ‘see’ them.
So the next time you are face to face with a masked person: See them, see their heart. And ask Father God, what would Jesus do?