Before I left the sanctuary last week, I was thinking and rethinking the ideas from the sermon about how God loves us and how the tone of the voice can connect us or not. When someone demands I do something in a strong dictatorial voice, I am afraid and don’t want to follow them. Yet, when Geoff described the tone of voice of Jesus, I knew I would like to walk beside him and listen. In Geoff’s ending prayer, he said “Teach us to hear your voice”. I love that! I was thinking about the past eighteen months with us wearing masks. When we wear masks, we can’t see each other’s faces. We can’t see the smiles. It is difficult to see the joy of God on their faces. In addition, it is difficult to hear people and we yell so others hear us. That tone of voice may come across as mean and bossy, and yet, we want to be kind and loving. The tone of voice makes such a difference in conveying our message. On September 1, I will be going back to teaching economics at University of San Diego. Everyone needs to wear a mask indoors, and I am concerned about my tone of voice. Will the students know I care about them and want them to learn? Will they think I am yelling at them? Can I read their faces or hear them when they have questions? I want to have Jesus’ tone of voice. I want to be kind and loving. Please God be with all of us and especially our students in Preschool, K-12 schools, and Colleges. Help the teachers and students to be loving and caring as we try to get back to a more normal way of doing school. Give us patience. Help us to realize that you are walking with us, and we want to hear your voice.