Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand firm against the tactics of the Devil. ~ Ephesians 6:11
Over the past few weeks, a selection of masks have collected on my desk. I wear a mask into the office when the preschool and other people are in the building, but then I forget to put it on or take it with me when I leave because no one is in the building anymore. So these masks have piled up.
Now, I typically choose my mask based on what color I think will best go with my outfit, but I actually bought a set because of the words on them: Peace, Love, Kindness. Since I can’t offer a smile to folks I see out in the world, I thought maybe, in some small way, I could help sow seeds of peace, love, and kindness with these small reminders. God knows the world can use more of all of those things.
But then, as I saw these masks sitting on my desk, I thought what it would be like if instead of picking which mask to wear because of its color, what if I picked a mask based on what attribute I wanted to embody for the day? What if when I put on my Kindness mask, I wrapped myself in kindness and let it be a reminder to show kindness to others. What if when I put on my Peace mask, I let it encourage me to take deeper breaths—to quiet my mind and release my worries.
Thinking about what it means to put on these attributes reminded me of the verses in Ephesians that encourages people of faith to put on the full armor of God—breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, helmet of salvation, etc.. Outside of the military, law enforcement, or cosplay, armor isn’t as commonplace of a thing today, but we still put on things to protect ourselves and others. What if I every time I put on my seatbelt, I thought about putting on a seatbelt of restraint? That would be a good reminder to exercise self-control. As a means of protecting each other, donning a mask can be a holy moment if we view it as taking a stand against the evils of misinformation.
What we wear might have changed, but the tactics of the Devil are still at work sowing discord rather than breathing peace, spewing hate rather than showing love, and rationalizing cruelty rather than extending kindness. As we work to care for one another, let us consciously put on Peace, Love, and Kindness so that we can withstand the evils of the world.