Face Masks and Faith Masks

Do a quick internet search for "face masks" right now, and in about half a second you'll have 393,000,000 results pop up. Whoa.

This morning at around 2:15am, I woke up and found myself dreaming of fabric and face masks, still pondering in my sleep the frustration of searching for a make-it-yourself design that meets all of my requirements:
A) It will do enough good to be worth wearing.
B) It's comfortable enough (doesn't smash my nose or hurt my ears).
C) It's usable enough (doesn't fall off).
D) It's not beyond my sewing skills to make.
E) I have the materials needed to make it.

Apparently I'm picky.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
I'm on the quest right now not just so I can attempt a trip to Costco and the pharmacy later this week. I'm also looking for something we can use right here at home because my oldest kid is sick. Not super sick, mind you. But she's sick enough anyway and it's quite a mystery because she has not left the house for two weeks. (So much for creating a safe bubble to live in!)

So here I am, trying to not catch what she's got and trying not to pass on to anyone else what I don't even know I have, but also trying not to lose my mind in the process. I'm looking for the holy grail of DIY face masks, but finding what I really need most is FAITH.

FAITH that will keep anxiety from taking over my mind.
FAITH that will remind me God is ultimately the one who protects us from eternal harm.
FAITH that says God is working all of this for our good and His glory.
FAITH that can empower me to walk unafraid through these days that feel ridden with land mines of both the viral and the psychological kind.
FAITH that will speak life rather than spread fear.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash
You probably know by now that surgical masks or DIY face masks are intended to protect others from the wearer's potential germs. Surgical and homemade masks don't seal well enough to keep out enough air to protect the wearer from inhaling germs, but they might help some in catching what the wearer is exhaling, potentially lowering their potential for sharing whatever germs they may be carrying. N95 masks, however, are fitted and more effective, protecting both the wearer AND those around them.

Right now, I'm reminding myself that I have to allow God's Word to be my spiritual N95 mask. God's Word can shield my mind and heart from fear and anxiety. I need to put my faith in God's willingness to give me wisdom so I don't obsess about doing every single little thing right. My faith has to be in God's love for us, not in the power of masks or disinfectant or social distancing. My faith has to be in what I read in God's Word, not in the news.

Faith is also the filter I want to wear when I speak to my kids and husband and anyone else, so I don't spread fear and anxiety to them. This doesn't mean I hide my struggles from them. It means I need to tell them the truth about how I'm doing as well as how I'm allowing God's truth to help me.

I'm also remembering that while this may not be biological warfare, it is spiritual warfare, and lies are just as invisible as viruses. Satan will use every opportunity to spread fear and chaos and a pandemic is the perfect opportunity. Will I go around with my heart and mind unprotected or will I take up the shield of faith to extinguish all his flaming darts? Like a virus against a spiritual N95 mask and spray bottle of Lysol, the enemy's lies are no match for God's truth - as long as I remember to use them.

As my mom famously says, "This, too, shall pass." Until it does, I'll probably keep trying to make the perfect mask. But for my own sake and the sake of everyone else, I'll also keep reminding myself the most important thing I can wear is FAITH. May you go and do the same.


PS In case anyone wonders... This is my favorite solution so far. It's a three layer loop of t-shirt material held up by my ponytail, which keeps it from sliding. Obviously not a solution for everyone, but it's something!