It is not good for man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18)
Recent studies have shown that more than one in five adults in the United States report feelings of significant loneliness or isolation, and that was before COVID-19 became a part of our lives. Can you imagine what that isolation index must be today? So what is the best way forward while we are isolated from each other . . . and even when we are not? Let’s take a look.
All the way back in the Garden of Eden, when God said that it was not good for man to be alone, we must remember that the man was not alone. Adam had God. But God, who had formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him, knew that Adam would not only need his vertical relationship with God, but a horizontal relationship as well. We all have been made for community, and we need to stay connected to the community that God has given us, especially during such a time as this.
Here are two ways we all can stay connected:
Pray . . . for others. Yes, we are isolated from each other right now, but we do not have to be insulated from each other. Do you have a list of people whom you are praying for by name each day? Praying for others is a powerful community connector, even when we are disconnected from one another physically.
Here is something that has worked quite well for me over the years: Pick up the phone, call someone you know, and ask that person, “How can I pray for you today?” And then do it! Pray right there on the phone with the other person, and then continue to pray in the days ahead. This “other-orientation” opens doors of connection that will help you rise above any feelings of loneliness and isolation that you may be experiencing in your current shut-in condition.
Participate . . . in their lives. Serving others is a surefire way to snuff out smoldering embers of loneliness and isolation. You may be wondering, “How can I serve others with these social distancing orders in place?” Actually, there are more ways than you could imagine! Community charities, churches, and food banks are busier than ever in the middle of this pandemic. Some people have joined food delivery services at local restaurants. Others have volunteered to go to the grocery store and shop for those who cannot or should not go. You can look for opportunities you are comfortable with, keeping in mind sound social distancing and sanitizing policies. There are also online opportunities to serve others.
At Cross Community Church, our quilting ministry shifted from making quilts to making face masks. Under the leadership of Carolyn Miller, the team has made more than one thousand masks for people on the front lines and members of our church. Where there is a will to serve, there is always a way.
Find a need and fill it, and you will be filled up yourself!
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,