This is Pastor Tim’s article published in the Evening Leader on Monday, August 2, 2021
Have you ever thought about your face? My guess is you have given your face some thought. Many of us wash our face, we put lotion and anti-aging creams on our face. Given my Irish ancestry, I have to smear on a lot of sun screen to avoid looking like Mr Krabs from SpongeBob. I have a medicine cabinet full of multiple brands of shaving cream and gels, two kinds of sensitive skin razors, and some aftershave aloe lotion. I have special soap in my shower to wash my face, I forget the name of the soap, but it is blue. I know what those of you who know me are thinking. He does that much work and still looks like that? I would appreciate you keeping your comments to yourself.
But faces have been pretty invaluable for the past year and half since we started 15 days to slow the spread. I missed people’s faces. Sure, I would see them on Zoom calls, but that wasn’t the same. That was no different than seeing faces on TV. Screens are so impersonal.
I am praying that we are not required to cover our faces ever again. Yes, I know that there is something called the Delta Variant of COVID that is out there but it is barely affecting vaccinated people. I know that my opinion on masks is not popular in that I don’t believe they protect you from anything. However, my view on vaccines is very positive. I got mine the first day I was eligible. I got it not because I was in any risk from COVID but because I hoped I would be left alone after I got the second shot. I know, I am such a dreamer.
But here is my point, as of the moment I wrote this article, we in Ohio are neither on shut down nor required to wear masks. I want to encourage you to go see someone’s face. My real concern and my purpose in writing this article is that many organizations have become very good at putting their services online. Wayne Street broadcasts both of our Sunday morning services on YouTube. I am also involved in Rotary, and we broadcast our meetings via Zoom.
I rationalize this by saying that we are offering these services to those who can not get out. For that reason, online broadcasting of our services at Wayne Street is here to stay. What I am starting to worry about is that all of this online broadcasting of services and events is going out to more than just people who can’t be here. We are enabling people who simply aren’t here.
Now if someone is out of town and joins us online, that is great, and I sincerely appreciate the effort. If there is someone who is legitimately shut in and joins us online, I also appreciate that. But I feel very sorry for people who are trading the actual experience of another human face for an image on a screen. Sure, it is more convenient to just click on, you can watch church from wherever you are. You don’t need to get dressed and you don’t need to do anything to prep your face for the world. But the experience is just not the same when it is on a screen verses when it is live.
If you would have asked me two years ago if I thought we spent too much time living through a screen, I would have wholeheartedly agreed we were. Think about where we are today. So many people seem to prefer observing life through a screen rather than living it in the real world. I know there was a period of time when we were told that the screens were necessary. Regardless of what your opinion on the shut down was, the truth is, those screens are not necessary for most people now. As much as you can help it, don’t use them. Go interact with someone’s actual face.
Of course we have our Sunday morning church services here at Wayne Street. Rotary has our weekly meeting at noon in the basement of the Eagles. Sunday, August 15 at 10:00am, we are having a Summerfest community worship service outside in Memorial Park near the Gazebo. Multiple churches in our community will be cancelling their services to join as one to praise God together. There will be many faces there that day, I hope that yours is one of them. To all of you ladies out there, Wayne Street is having a women’s conference on Saturday, August 21 and you are invited.
My point is, life is for living, not for watching through a screen. We need to break the bad habits we got into during the shutdowns and go back out into the world by doing things like going to movies, sporting events, and worship services.
Take whatever precautions you need to take, but if you are at all able to get out from behind a screen, please do it. There is a world out there waiting to see your face.