Amidst a pandemic health problem that is real and threatening it imperative that we need to “socially isolate” from each other. This for some is exciting, and for some scary. All the extroverts are thinking OMG how will I survive, Introverts are saying “yay”, but over time everyone will feel the strain of all that it will mean.
I must say at first, I was tempted to put my head down and hibernate for while. It suited me just fine. And probably “like a sabbath”, that many like me are not good at taking, for a time it might be just what everyone needs. But it didn't take me long before the guilt of “ease and comfort” set in and I realised this might be just the time when God is calling us to rise up. I mean, what would the world say about Christians during this time if all they saw is that we were hiding in our houses, keeping to ourselves?
“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest”
Never before in my life, have I had a chance to help my neighbour as I have this week, to connect with people who have been otherwise too busy and share feelings and listen to each other. The faith community I am a part of, that I would say is pretty connected usually, has been more connected that ever before.
With Messenger, Facebook, Text, Phone calls, there is sharing going on everywhere. We had a ZOOM prayer and worship morning this Sunday morning. The young people stayed on an hour after we finished just to talk to each other. And one of our community who now lives in Paris, France, was able to join us for the first time in 6 months.
A few days before that we had a practice for those new to ZOOM to get on and make sure everything was working. What a laugh. People were so funny, all trying to talk to each other at the same time, while some people were trying to do funny things, the young people chatting on the side, the oldies trying to get their camera focused. As we all share what God is challenging and comforting us with, we are all hearing God’s heart and word from all different people. Every person has the chance to make someone else's day. And this is not happening just on Sundays, it is happening every day of the week.
We have also found that our outward/missional expression has increased tenfold. In the past week, as a community, we have created a “Love and Care for each other” notice board and people are pitching in to create baskets for shut ins and struggling families. We have worked out how we can get FREE food parcels to families. We have created a “card” that people can fill out and drop in neighbours’ boxes to offer help. We have considered starting to write “old fashioned” letters to people and create a pen pal system. Young people have helped older people hook up ZOOM and Messenger. Our people are putting together “craft kits” for kids, Easter hampers for others. Some are making cards and others are just enjoying a lot more time to chat.
People we haven’t heard from in ages are now connecting back in and appreciating the community. And every day offers a chance to make someone’s day. For the numbers of shopkeepers and workers who have been yelled at each day, it doesn’t take much to counteract that with a smile and a thank you.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
All this to say that if we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, now is the time to bring “Hope” in a time of despair, to walk together more deeply and make sure people don't feel alone.
Let’s share the stories of what is possible, because now more than ever, every little bit helps.