Love is not greater than liberty. Liberty is not greater than love. The emphasis is on the AND. The two are synchronous. The two hold one another up. Neither can properly exist alone. 


God gave humankind the freedom to choose whether to walk His way or not (please see Deuteronomy 30:19). God gave humankind the law of sowing and reaping (please see Proverbs 11:25). If God of all creation designed humans with the responsibility of liberty, should we as humans demand compliance from one another?


Cover Your Mouth and Nose

In the early stages of The Great Slowdown (please see My Little Library), I dreaded going to the grocery store. It took me a moment of being very present with my feelings, inside the grocery store with a basket full of goods that would keep my decent-sized family fed for a week (NOT the same as hoarding), before I could discern what was going on in my heart.

What I discovered in that moment of intentionally trying to accept and understand my feelings was that the masks covering everyone’s faces and my own helped increase this sense of oppression . . . and fear.


At that point, I thought about painting or drawing big smiles over my masks and even went so far as to come up with a title for a potential article. "Masked Smiles: Are They Wrong, After All? "


For my family, washing hands when we get home is a given. We take our shoes off right away when we enter our home. We bathe before bed so we don’t sleep in any ick from the day. That’s been a way of life since before my husband and I were married. “Sneeze in your elbow,” is a mantra I’ve shouted for 10-years. One of our little loves still sneezes how she pleases. I still have to say, “Wash your hands,” at least 10 times a day. “Did you wash your hair?” or “Did you USE SOAP?!” are questions I repeat more times than I’d like. No thanks to COVID. It’s just how we operate in our home. Outside the home, I have always been a little bit of an over-zealous mother with hand-sanitizer or cleaning wipes thanks to my question of which germs one of us might encounter. 


What’s different now is that I realize our community might not return to “normal” or “business as usual” and I may have to accept a face covering is the standard or expectation. This makes me very sad.


Freedom is hard to come by; it’s not a normal aspect of humans living together. Everywhere in history, one nation is trying to dominate the other. One group is enslaving another. 


The freedom to walk around with a naked face is one I never imagined to hold precious. I don’t wish to give this up. 


In honor of our nation’s Independence Day, I designed the featured face shield. It complies with Texas law.


I stand against living in a society where we:


  • cannot clearly hear what’s being said between one another due to layers of fabric covering the mouths of the speakers

  • experience diminished or unavailable non-verbal cues/data

  • are unable to read lips

I stand for:


  • alternatives to the face mask

  • honoring both myself AND my neighbor

  • freedom to walk around without hiding

I love liberty and I will do my best to love my neighbor AND myself . . . lest I end up like one of Margaret Atwood’s handmaids who live in D.C.

Liberty AND Love
by Jennifer Lytle

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