This Face

This is my face. Most of it has not been bared to the public since March 2020. For the last fourteen months it has been hiding under masks and (depending on where I am) a cap and face shield.

Suddenly, it’s OK to show all of my face. It’s OK to not obsess about touching my face, or rubbing my eyes, or disinfecting surfaces. I have to say… it’s weird.

This face… is naked.

This face never wore a lot of makeup. I’m not a fan of lipstick. My eyes itch too much for a lot of mascara and eyeliner. My eyebrows… meh. they will never be perfect. Neither over-plucked nor filled and painted in. They just are. This face has freckles and wrinkles and uneven skin tone. And that’s how I’m wearing it.

This face is… the face of a tired woman.

Tired of temp checks and PPE and filling out my demographic information. Tired of sticking swabs up my nose (though grateful for every single negative COVID test result!) Tired of deaths of otherwise fairly healthy people. Tired of people who believe this whole pandemic was fake. Tired of anti-vaxxers. Tired of interrupted sleep from stress and worry and grief.

This face… has felt too many tears.

The loss of time with family and friends. The death of dear ones. The overriding fears I feel when I go home from visiting COVID patients, knowing I was exposed. (Yes. Even with PPE on…) The pressure of a too-high caseload. The emotionally charged meetings. The phone calls to grieving families. The lost opportunities.

This face… has hope.

Hope in seeing spring come back yet again, full of blooms and fragrance. Hope in a vaccine that, though not 100% effective, still offers a margin of safety I had not felt for months. Hope in a God who has been my strong tower and my comforter. Hope in the serenade of bird song and spring breeze through our trees. Hope in a world without end.

This face…

is enduring, optimistic, realistic, devoted, compassionate, does-no-harm-but-takes-no-shit, ambitious, creative, and… beloved by God.

And guess what? Your face is loved by God, too.

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