We are all fighting isolation. Here in Southern California, we just found out that should ICU capacity reach a certain level — and we are close to that now — another total shutdown like we had in the spring will be ordered. Many of us have pretty much shut down our activity outside the home anyway. We have new isolation habits. We are closer to network news than we are to our neighbors. We wear masks that hide half our face. We are starting to watch those serial TV shows everyone is getting hooked on. For some, who are gregarious and very social, like my wife, this is maddening. She was on a three-hour phone conversation last night just because she lacks for human contact. For me, required isolation gives me an excuse for what I prefer to be anyway. As always there is a happy medium between these two perspectives, it’s just sometimes hard to find.
Bottom line, we’ve got to make each other important and then figure out how to do that. When there is a will there is a way. We need the will. Make it your desire to reach out to others and then make a plan on how to do it.
Marg, who attends our Wednesday night Bible Study lives on a small island in the Seattle area. She’s already isolated to a degree but she hasn’t let that stop her. When I asked her if she was lonely, she said, “Oh no, I’m just tired of zooming.”
We have a new verb don’t we? Zoom … to zoom, have zoomed, are zooming. Let’s all zoom together. Let’s go on a zoom-a-thon. I know how Marg feels. After a while it starts to get to you. Except that it is communication and it is significant — more significant than the phone. Seeing faces (not just half a face) and watching body language is a big asset to communication. And yes, it’s not ideal, but it’s pretty close to the real thing.
Marti likes to call it “First responders in justice and love.” Justice, because everyone counts, and love, because that’s what Jesus told us sums up all the law and the prophets. Be creative. Look for those who are lonely. Where you can, reach out in your neighborhood. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Remember, Christ, the hope of glory, is in you. And everyone needs hope, especially now.
Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder to reach out creatively to our neighbors. I feel like we are back where we started, but maybe it can help us to show hospitality again in new ways.