Despite the masks people are reaching out during COVID

In these days of wearing masks to help stop the spread of coronavirus, it sometimes becomes quite challenging to recognize as well as to be recognized.

A couple of weeks ago while in physical therapy, I thought maybe I knew the fellow on the next therapy table but could only see his eyes. He caught me observing him but didn’t say anything. Later, back at the same stations, we exchanged those curious looks again. Still, neither of us spoke. We finished about the same time and got brave enough to exchange greetings. Yes, we were right. He said he thought it was me but wasn’t sure until he heard my voice. I confessed I wasn’t sure it was who I thought until I saw the twinkle in his eye.

We had worked together out of the same office some years ago but had each gone our own way and had only rarely seen each other in the interim period. Still, the recognition and respect, each for the other, was still there – quite intact, though years had passed.

Anther incident in a grocery store – a lady approached and called me by name. “You probably don’t recognize me because of this thing,” she observed, tugging on her mask, “but I go to Fayette church and you have filled our pulpit sometimes. Where is your dog?” I explained that Kelly had crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we visited briefly, and went our own ways.

Then there was the young man who showed up at my door. Basically, I knew who he was but did not know him personally. He was here to see the lawn damage from the vehicle accident a few days earlier. No mask involved. I simply didn’t have a name for this fellow even though I knew why he was here.

A day or two later, a couple of fellows drove their 4-wheelers across my front lawn. I went out to see who and why. Again, no masks. One was my next-door neighbor and the other introduced himself as another neighbor. Then he stepped into my good graces by saying, “I always read your column.” They were checking out the damage and asked if they could help redeem the lawn.

Through this pandemic, I’ve noticed a lot more people advising others to “be careful and stay healthy!” As a local people, are we reaching out to others more than we used to do?

One day, we’ll look around heaven and perhaps wonder, “Where is _______? I was sure I’d see him (or her) here.” But, you know, the only way to be sure who you will see there is to know for a certainty they have received Jesus into their heart. Have you?