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  • John Whitehead

Faceless by Choice

This past year has been one of imposed isolation and the mandated ceasing of numerous normal activities. I have been both alarmed and disheartened as I watch people submit without question to whatever is being demanded of them.


Each day, I see faceless people who walk around in broad daylight, wearing a mask to protect themselves from a virus and from other people.


I cannot help but wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye.


Though I find this confusing, one thing I do believe is clear; they are “faceless by choice“ and we see this unfolding all around us.


I find this very sad since it is our face that show others who we are. Our face give expression to our thoughts, considerations, and concerns. Our face can be an invitation for relationship or an opportunity to share and care for each other.


The opposite is true when we our world is faceless.


The covering of our face dehumanizes us as people. In fact, we become a faceless version of ourselves in a faceless society. A society where the individual is replaced with a perception of solidarity.


When we cover our faces, our identity is literally hidden from us.


The idea we can all be protected from sickness by hiding our faces is not only unlikely, it, is doubtful at best. Yet we, see seemingly intelligent people, becoming “faceless by choice” and claiming virtue as they do.


It has gotten to the point we are being told being faceless is something we must do if we care about others. In fact, recently it has even been deemed as our patriotic duty as Americans. As a person who served in the military, I think patriotism has truly taking a hit when this is where the bar has been set.


Yet, I know even as I write this, there are people who will be appalled at the audacity I have to disagree with the science. I would like to say, regarding science, there is no consensus on the effect wearing a mask has on preventing or spreading the virus.


Being “faceless by choice” is just that, a choice. Forcing your beliefs regarding that choice on someone else is no different than forcing your beliefs on a myriad of other issues on them.


For me, I have strived to be respectful of those who hold strong views on covering their faces. Yet, it saddens me to not be able to see those faces anymore.


Our identity is so much more than the faceless culture we currently see before us. The very essence of who we are as people is being hidden by the mask we choose to wear.


Where do we go from here? Will we remain faceless forever? Or will being faceless become who we are? I have no idea; since I would have never dreamt, we would end up here.


The power of persuasion has made us “faceless by choice”. The question is, what is the next thing this power will persuade us to do?


I will close by saying I miss seeing the many faces our Lord created to bring about the beauty found in sharing this world with others. Being “faceless by choice” has brought a sadness to my face which may be hidden at times, but it will not be hidden by choice!


Numbers 6:25-26, “the LORD, make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD, turn his face toward you and give you peace.”



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