A Mask Cannot Dim the Light
hat is behind the mask? Or maybe the better question is, who is behind the mask? Is there a smile, a smirk, a frown, a grin? A multitude of mysteries are hidden behind the protective masks we wear during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the exception of family members, we seldom have visibility of the facial expressions that mouths provide since states have issued mandatory requirements for everyone to wear facemasks in public. Personally, I never realized how important the mouth is in revealing someone's facial expression. I'll take it a step further. I never realized the great impact the mouth is in determining someone's body language.
Despite the mysteries hidden behind facemasks, there is one very impactful revelation that has transpired - the amazing gift of eyes! Many times, in this "facemasked" world we live in, I have a perception of someone's emotional expression just by reading their eyes. Perhaps you have also utilized this gift. What we cannot see in the lower part of the face can still be visualized and revealed through the eyes. Maybe another person's eyes brighten or their eyes become wider to express joy. A roll of the eyes could reveal doubt or disgust. I've also seen people close their eyes to express emotion. The spiritual importance of the eyes was illuminated by Jesus Christ when he was teaching the disciples about the "Light Within." In Luke 11:34-36, Jesus says:
Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness. Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays."
The divine words of our Savior express that our eyes show either light or darkness to others. As God's children, we can likely see joy, happiness, hope and grace through the eyes of humanity. As a result, the body language of those we encounter reflects the wonderful qualities their eyes express. It is through our eyes and body that our "spiritual light" shines on the world around us. However, Christ warns us against unhealthy eyes, conveying the message that sad, distant or angry eyes will reveal darkness within the body. This darkness, however, does not exist if our eyes are "full of light," truly reflecting the "lamp of your body."
Our eyes are a divine blessing and in this wonderful humanitarian effort to protect others through facemasks, their spiritual importance has been magnified. The light of our eyes and body has resulted in an increase of productive conversations that we may not have otherwise had within our communities. This light has resulted in the flexibility to change, adapt and consider the health and well-being of others. This light has offered hope through increased quality COVID-19 testing and important steps in developing a vaccine that will decrease the spread of this horrible virus. But most of all, the light shining through our eyes reflects the grace and love that Christ unconditionally gave to humanity through salvation.
While the year 2020 has presented unimaginable challenges and many times of doubt, we are reminded that our light, our uplifting spirit, and our love and grace for others should not hide behind a facemask, but instead be illuminated through the gracious gift of our eyes.