a resource for this time of COVID-19 social distancing
Masked Up and Praying
While sitting in the dentist's chair recently (I'll spare you the details), I could hear a morning talk show discussing mental health during COVID times. One of things the guest said was that people generally do better emotionally when they have unexpected pleasant encounters with other people, particularly folks they do not know well or are even complete strangers. It is part of the process of restoring our faith in humanity and that sort of healing.
The show's discussion went on to talk about COVID masking, and how such encounters were still very much possible, but might take novel strategies and more focus. Now admittedly I was a captive audience, but my wondering mind started to think about how often God is revealed to be lovingly present present in our lives through such experiences. Then I considered how easy it would be to slide unintentionally into an expectation in ourselves that when we are praying with God we should be masked. If that is how we are with the vast majority of people, it is very understandable that our natural stance with God would be to be masked.
Now I hope your times with God have not been effected in this way by our current COVID lifestyle. But it is worth checking, to see if we need to take an extra moment of preparing ourselves for God time by mentally, emotionally, and spiritually removing our masks that separate us from God. It's pretty common for humans to put up all sorts of barriers between themselves and God, so a COVID mask is actually pretty minor and easy to set aside. Once we find a way of doing so that works for us, we can apply the same techniques to eliminate our masks of shame, guilt, resentment, and whatever else may be separating us from God by our own mechanisms.
God wants nothing more than to be as close to us as possible, so we are the only limit to that intimacy. When we remove as many masks as we can, we can more deeply experience the depths of God's eternal kindness, healing, and love for us all.