The other day my boss came up to my office and looked slightly startled to see me. “Hi!” I said, also surprised to see him. “Hey!” He replied, noticing that I was confused by his reaction, “I’m just not used to seeing people’s teeth anymore.” I had my mask off because I had been alone in my office at the time.
Curious, I thought to myself, I hadn’t thought about not seeing people’s full face in a long time. This comment had awoken my senses that had unnoticeably become numb. I started to ponder the face more – pretty introspective, I know. I thought about how each part of the face plays a crucial role in communication.
If you know me at all, you know that I am very expressive with my face. If you don’t know me, then maybe you can relate or the meme about how your-mouth-might-not-say-it-but-your-facial-expression-will resonates with you. I realize that now when I try to connect with a stranger in public they only know my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, my eyes are usually expressive too, but I’m not able to convey my whole emotion, causing a breakdown in communication. I can no longer make a joke or be snarky to provoke playful banter without having to explain that is what I am trying to do, haha. Sometimes it’s comical. Other times I just wish I could have conveyed it from the get-go.
I digress. What am I going on about? Well, I have noticed throughout the past years that many human connections have been lost. Yes, I know that we have FaceTime and Zoom. Virtual parties are all the rage, but when in public and someone is standing less than 6 feet away from me, I become curious as to why. In some ways, though I hate to admit it, I have also become conditioned to think that my personal bubble now needs to be a 6 foot perimeter. Have I been accepting this loss of connection?
I mentioned to my fiancé the other night as we were watching a movie that people were standing so close and I wish that it was like that again. I notice it more, especially in older movies, simpler times. I’ve noticed that in some ways I am a little frog in a slow boil. I do not want this for any of us. I do not want us to ignore the loss of basic human needs; a need for connection, for community.
Our bodies are not evil, we are not dirty, we are not to be avoided and yet we are fed these counter truths that we must stay away from each other for the good of each other. How has this been accepted? We are slowly denying one another our basic needs by following this notion.
I encourage us to be attentive to the boil. Stand firm in prayer and cultivate a healthy prayer life so that you’re able to be more sent to the truth and reality of The Holy Spirit. My only other reminder as I close is to remember that you are good, made in His image and likeness. He wants you to trust Him and accept all of His graces that He wants to bestow upon you during this time.
May God give you the sweetest peace.