Like you, I have some strong opinions about many issues. And like some of you, I’ve grown weary of seeing the dissension and reading the ugliness on social media.
If you want to get traction on a Twitter or Facebook post, here’s how to do it: Post something guaranteed to push a lot of buttons. Regardless of the side you pick to support or the opinion you choose to promote, there are a billion people who will agree or disagree with you.
So, here’s one of my pet peeves (and prepare yourself for an increase in your blood pressure)—masks are unnecessary (at least where I live), and I don’t like being forced to wear one.
Did you feel the tremor?
Some of you just yelled, “Preach it, preacher!” and some of you just screamed, “You’re an idiot, Bubna!”
We immediately go to our arsenal of “facts” and articles that defend our position. And let’s be honest, most of us will surf the web until we find something that backs us up.
(Go ahead; I’ll wait, so you can find some information to support or refute my belief about masks.)
For the record, I know masks work (at least some of them do when used correctly). I’ve read the science and seen the stats about how a mask reduces your chances of getting Covid-19.
However, I also know the facts about the county I live in. (I can’t speak to your situation, but I’ve done the math for Spokane County.)
- Out of 520,000 people in our county, only about 1,100 have tested positive (so far) for Covid-19. That’s only .2% of our county (not even 1%).
- Yes, the number of reported cases has doubled since we went into phase 2. But the number of people infected is still far less than 1% in Spokane County.
- Sadly, we have had 37 deaths. But more than 70% of those deaths were over the age of 70, and more than half occurred in long-term care facilities.
- Furthermore, 98% of the people who get Covid-19 survive. (Keep in mind, that’s nearly a 100% survival rate of the .2% who get it.)
Okay, masks probably do work if someone is exposed to the virus (to one of the .2% who is infected and contagious). But my point is I think it’s ill-advised to wear something (and especially to have a child wear one in school) when there’s very little chance I’m going to get sick, and if I do, there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to survive.
To be clear, all life matters. Sickness sucks. And masks—despite some of the reactive rhetoric on Facebook—won’t kill us. But I still think they’re unnecessary. (Don’t get me started on how ineffective they are when misused).
Are you still reading? Good. Hang in there; you won’t want to miss the punchline.
Let me tell you a short story . . .
I heard about our governor’s mask mandate about 8 pm one night, and it sent me into a tizzy (for all the reasons already stated).
I was mad.
I was determined to resist and rebel.
I’m hard of hearing, and I often read lips (it’s true).
I’m a bit claustrophobic, and I feel like I can’t breathe in a mask.
I have some breathing issues (I’ve been diagnosed with EIA, exercised induced asthma).
As you can imagine, I went into a rant and was mouthing off (again) about government overreach and the foolishness of requiring masks in our county.
When I finally went to bed, I was still frustrated, and I tossed and turned for about an hour.
Then something happened . . .
As understandable as I’ve ever heard God speak to my heart, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Jesus suffered and died unjustly for you because of love. Just or not, needed or not, you can wear a mask in love.”
I might have cursed a little bit. (Don’t worry, God is used to me, and we’re pretty close, so He understands.)
But the message was clear: Sacrifice and suffer for love’s sake even if it costs you.
So I will wear a mask in public, and I’ll stop complaining. I am done—done being grumpy.
By the way, I also won’t be shaming anyone who chooses not to wear a mask. Thankfully, I’m not your lord, and you don’t answer to me.
I do want to suggest you ask yourself one question: What does love require from you?
This Post Has 52 Comments
Hi Kurt, again your blog is convicting.(dang it). I am torn about wearing masks. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t I love that Jesus died for my sins( there are so many!), I hate that He died for my sins, as I am then required to attempt to try to be more like Him and do things I am not naturally inclined to do. Thank you for your insights. We always enjoy your blogs.
Thank you, Doris, sincerely appreciate you! Love and miss you guys.
Dang you Kurt….leave to a pastor to make complete sense, LOL! I love the fact that God so obviously speaks to you and then you share it with the rest of us!! Thanks for sharing :).
Always here for YOU Deb! 🙂 Love and miss you guys a ton!
Thank you, Kurt. I’m so torn on the issue as I can see both sides. I’m grieved at the response of so many… it breaks my heart. I’m a teacher and a rule follower. I’ve been asked to wear a mask in public and so I will. I will also manage myself. If I’m feeling bad due to the mask I’ll take it off and get some fresh air. I won’t be wearing it when I sing on stage tomorrow but will put it on when I go out into the auditorium. I agree that kids shouldn’t wear masks. We as teachers are grasping at straws as to how it will be to teach littles in conditions that are NOT conducive to teaching at all. We all need to do our part and do it out of love with huge amounts of grace. Each person is given free will and the only control I have is over what I do. The rest …. well I’m grateful that God is in control! Thank you for your honesty and leadership. I trust you and know your heart is governed by Jesus. YOU are loved!
I too am SO grateful that God is in control (I’m pretty sure I’d just make a bigger mess of things)! Love you, Jenny!
Meddling—in a good way. I needed to hear this. Time for me to give up the negative selfishness and embrace loving “otherlyness”
Thank you, Karen. Isn’t “meddling” a gift of the Spirit? 🙂 Love you!
I love that you brought in All Lives matter!
Thank you, Shaton. And they do…
It’s a given that all lives matter, but All lives aren’t beaten and killed to the degree that African American specifically men. But leave it to the privileged to try and take that Mantra from them. THERE IS NO PROVERBIAL
“ONLY”, in front of BLM, but privileged people will not give them even BLM. Not Very loving in my opinion.. It’s odd that much of the Christian community seem to struggle so much with this
Hmmm… Mary, I’m afraid you misread my blog. I said, “All LIFE matters” and it was in the context of this post where I wanted to make sure no one thought that 37 deaths from Covid-19 didn’t matter to me. This post has nothing to do with BLM movement. That being said, I will pray you find peace and God’s blessing in the midst of your pain. You are loved.
Thank you Pastor Kurt! I have gone back and forth, up and down, round and round. I have to wear a mask all day at work and if l can use the word “hate”, I hate it. I have settled inline with what you wrote. Appreciate your wisdom and direction!
As you read, I hate them too. But for love’s sake…
Love you guys!
I’m so grateful that we have a Holy Spirit that guides us back to the right path when we. wander off. I’m reminded that God knows best and is in control even when I think I’m justified in my behavior.
So true. So grateful. Thank you, Stephanie!
Very well said, Dad!
I think you might be the only family member who thinks so. 🙂 Love you!
I need that phrase on a shirt “I might have cursed a little bit. (Don’t worry, God is used to me, and we’re pretty close, so He understands.)”
Your blog nearly always gives me at least a smile, if not a good laugh!
Glad it made you smile, Michelle!
I’m so tired of posts like this. The first half of your post states why we needn’t wear masks quoting statistics like 37 people have died. Percentages as to population. And over 70. Like these 37 people and anyone over 70 don’t matter. Most people only read the first part of this article because it supports their own selfishness.
It’s ok…..until it’s your loved one. And it’s you on a ventilator. And remember, if isolation is tough, being sick and being alone really sucks.
Every time a post like this hits social media it wounds those that have a loved one who died, is over 70 or is at high risk. Like they don’t matter. And by the way this second wave is hitting our 20 somethings hard.
I realize you share how you were convicted and you will wear a mask, but it was a little late, because like I said most people didn’t read that far. They just took your rant as fuel to support their agenda.
Wearing a mask isn’t comfortable, but neither is wearing a seatbelt, or bike helmet, but we do it. If it were your spouse who would surely die if they contract COVID your post might have been different.
Now, thanks for listening to my rant.
I am so sorry for your pain, Jennifer. You may be right, but I have consistently asked people to read the blog in its entirety (which takes 3 minutes). I hope you read the part where I said that “all life matters” because it does. I weep with those who weep.
However, I am honest. I do bleed publicly. It’s who I am. That being said, my actions speak louder than my words and I am wearing a mask.
Most of the people who have read this post and responded (via comments here, email, messenger, or directly to me) said my post challenged and encouraged them to wear a mask. That’s good, right?
Sheriff Ozzie isn’t enforcing their mask mandate at all. Don’t have to wear it.
Hmmmm… I know what the Sheriff won’t do, but I’m not sure how that relates to what I wrote about what Jesus wants ME to do. (Hope you read the whole blog.) 🙂
I love others I am kind. I do not wear a mask. Thanks for allowing me that!
Glad you are kind! The only question I asked of other is: What does love require of you to do toward/for others?
I love hearing how God spoke to you & you responded. Thanks for leading by example. Great post Kurt!
You are most welcome, Chris. Thank YOU for your kindness. Love you!
BRAVO!!! Awesome post, I personally have tried to keep my thoughts on masks to myself b/c they are not nice or pretty…& shamefully not Christian or loving …BUT I keep a mask IN my purse in case a place of business/home/anywhere not MY house asks to wear one…& I try & keep grumbling to minimum. It’s a work in progress….. ❤️
Thank you once again!!
We are ALL a work in progress! 🙂 Love you, Kelly!
Many drs and surgeons are warning against wearing a mask as if causes pneumonia. I personally know nurses who are very ill from having to wear the masks 12 hrs a day. They said their health is rapidly declining and Rhys have never felt worse. I also know of a 25 year old who is not expected to live because she has hypercapnia due to having to wear a mask at work. Her lungs are destroyed. Her brain is not working. She was extremely healthy prior to the masks. The doctor said it’s 100% due to the masks. We will see much more death due to wearing masks then we have covid. But, they will call it covid because it’s the lungs shutting down.
Hi Lynnn, Like you, I’ve read plenty about the pros/cons of masks. I get it. And I don’t disagree with you. However, did you get the point of my blog? Jesus suffered for others because of love. That’s all I’m asking people to consider. 🙂
Love you, Bro, but I must ask: Our family friend, a young 30ish dental assistant who is required to wear a mask along with a full plastic face shield has had dizzy spells; nearly passed out while working; and has headaches afterwards; yet when she tried to attend her home fellowship group, the leader of it announced out of “love and respect for all” masks were required.
Who is loving this one who so desperately needs to breathe??? (She had to choose not to attend.)
Love you too.
Thank you for putting mask-wearing into perspective for me. I finally get it!
Thanks for reading, Kelli! You are loved!
Nice blog and I agree, but your math is wrong. 1100 out of 520000 is 0.2%, not .002%. Still a very small fraction though. I also think that the main value of a mask is to prevent the wearer from spewing virus when he or she sneezes, coughs, etc. By wearing it we are loving others even if it’s only making those who are afraid, less fearful.
Hi Tim, Guess I should stick to pastoring and not math! 🙂 Thanks for the correction (I made the change in my post). Thanks for the encouragement too. Love you, Tim!
I feel the government little by little is taking our rights away, so if they say that we can no longer gather are we supposed to comply with that as well? When they say you can no longer go out and try to teach people about god are we supposed to go along with that too? I believe it starts with one thing and then progresses to another until everything is taken away. Where does it end? I believe that separation from church and state is the right call and I think the government should respect that.
Hi Brenda, I don’t disagree with you. I too am deeply concerned. However, the point of my post (I hope you read it to the end) isn’t about our “rights” but about our hearts and our love for others. Just something to think about.
Love everything about this! I agree one thousand percent, although in Oregon it’s only required in the seven most-affected counties, I’m always wearing my mask in public indoors. Because it really is a small thing. If it helps, great. If not, whatever. If it makes others feel more comfortable, that’s reason enough for me.
Thanks for being honest – as usual.
Thanks for adding to the conversation, Sharon. I don’t like them (as stated), but I am trying to be otherly. 🙂
On point with just a bit of the message of Isaiah 53 infused!
Love yah brother
Thank, Cary. Love you too, brother!
This is so good, Kurt. When we get the big picture from Christ it is amazing how many of the things we frustrate over suddenly seem not so important anymore.
Hi Bruce, Hope your travels are going well. Always appreciate you heart and wisdom. You are a gift to me and many. (I’m trying not to focus on only the pencil in my timeline!)
I know a young woman who is required to wear a mask all day every day at work at a dentist’s office. It’s a dead-serious mask that wraps tightly around your face. It so restricts her oxygen that one day she almost fainted and had to take it off to get some air. Then her small group leader decided that everyone should wear masks during their gathering. She kindly explained that she wears an oxygen depleting mask all day at work and she won’t wear one at group. In fact, she won’t go to group if that is what they require.
Frankly, I don’t blame her. I won’t go to church only to wear a mask, to six feet apart, and to refrain from physical contact. What’s the point? If we are the Body of Christ we shouldn’t live in fear like the rest of the world, especially when the numbers and the science do not support such a ridiculous measure, not to mention the potential detriment to one’s health. My brother-in-law almost died of Covid-19. My sister-in-law also had it and the doctor said she made it worse by wearing a mask — depleting her oxygen level and inhaling again the virus. If masks do work, and I’m talking about the “everyday” variety, then why force it upon those who don’t want to wear one? Let those who live in fear of it wear their masks and supposedly it will protect them. This whole thing is outrageous and just a way for the government to gain more control of the masses.
If we start singing in church while wearing masks you might make people sick, or at the very least cause them to lose brain cells and potentially faint in the middle of the service. What about communion? How do we do that with a mask? If everyone is allowed to take off their masks then you’ve just lost all protection–all those little viruses will escape! God forbid!
These public rules by our governors should be rejected. They are making things worse and dragging this whole pseudo pandemic on and on. For the sake of love, and I sincerely mean this, we should not wear masks. If someone were to ask me “Why aren’t you wearing a mask?” I will respond: “Because I don’t live in fear; because I don’t believe the lies of our government; because masks do not protect health but actually decrease it due to oxygen depletion and reintroduction of viruses back into our lungs.
The old question arises in my mind: What would Jesus do? Yes, Jesus died unjustly but he didn’t live in fear one bit. If he walked among us I don’t believe he would give into the fear, nor wear a mask, nor distance himself six feet. He would trust His Father to keep Him; He would allow the masses to gather to listen to him teach; he would reach out to touch the leper and heal him. He would teach people not to fear Covid-19 which can kill only the body, but to fear God who can kill both body and soul in hell.
I love your heart bro, and I do think there is something to what you are saying. In my disgust about this whole thing, I need to have a kind and loving heart.
Right now I am struggling to die to self. By the grace of God I will humble and go.
Hi bro, I don’t disagree with your logic or viewpoint. As stated in my post, this whole thing causes me great stress and frustration. I do, however, appreciate your last three sentences the most (after you were done ranting). 🙂 Apparently, we are related! Love you, Kev.
This is 100% what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your wisdom and humbleness brother!
Thank you, Adam. Love and miss you guys.
I loved this…. I to am upset with the mask deal and this has definitely changed something for me….
So glad it helped a bit, Heidi. You are loved…
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