A physician friend of mine recently started writing a blog. He’s a devout follower of Jesus and both intelligent and skilled enough to teach at a medical school (He’s so smart that even the name his blog is a word most of us have never heard of. I thought he made it up, but explained to me that indeed he did not.) One of the highlights of his teaching responsibilities is when he gets to speak in a medical ethics course and represent a strong pro-life perspective to medical students. I am thankful that God has placed him in that arena to be witness to God’s values and character. (Yes, the God who reveals himself in the Bible is pro-life.)
In a recent blog my friend challenged his pro-life, conservative friends about the wearing of masks during this Covid-19 season. His point was that a consistently pro-life person would have a strong commitment to do anything to protect and preserve life – unborn and other. A pro-life commitment, he argued, compels us to care enough about the lives of others to protect them from the potential spread of Covid-19 by wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, frequently washing our hands and following other practices recommended by the medical community. I agree.
Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s why I wear a mask. The thing that ought to distinguish followers of Jesus from others is our sacrificial, selfless love. The kind of love Jesus demonstrated when he gave his life at the cross. I don’t enjoy wearing a mask in public spaces, and sometimes I forget and have to run back to my car to get it. But, I understand my wearing of a mask to be an expression of love for others and an extension of my pro-life commitments.
Honestly, I don’t know how much of this pandemic is real, the product of media hype, or some crazy conspiracy to control us and threaten our liberties. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. The fact is that people have died and will continue to die – both from the virus and the stresses of living in this season. All those losses are to be grieved.
But, what I do know is this: Jesus calls me to love every one of his image bearers in selfless ways, like he does. So, if wearing a mask protects someone – if it even gives them a feeling of being cared about – then in the service of Jesus, I’ll wear one.
I can do this small thing because I know a great God who is managing every moment of time and molecule of his universe for his glory and the good of his beloved in Jesus. My security and freedom are in God. God is in me and is my life. In his life I am pro-life – both the unborn life and yours.