So friends, how are you doing? Really? How are you REALLY doing? I know for some of us this stay at home thing is hard. Easter was different. For some, it didn’t feel even a little bit like Easter!
My Easter was different, it had a little sadness, but it also had smiles and laughter. I’m lucky. My husband and daughter are home with me. My son and daughter in love are at their home together. My mom has my sister and her family with her. My brother and his wife are together. We are lucky. We aren’t alone.
I’m a pastor at two small older congregations and I’m hearing such loneliness from them all. I try to make contact with most of them once a week. They are lonely. They miss seeing their kids and grandkids. They miss spending time with them. They miss “going” to church and seeing and hugging their friends. Some of them don’t get out at all – their kids bring their groceries to the door and leave so that they can keep them safe. Some of them understand it. They understand it’s to keep them safe and well, but some are unsure and scared.
There is so much information out there and so much of it contradicts each other so it makes it hard to know what to believe. Around here we watch the news and hear about a nursing home where most of the residents are sick with Covid-19 and it’s scary but then you hear people saying how stupid this is and we need to get back to work! I can imagine how very confusing it can be especially to the elderly who are home alone.
I find myself wondering every day, how such selfishness exists. I get it. We want to go to church [building], it’s our right, but at what cost? So many people are saying, “If it’s my time so be it!” but your going out and about, even to church doesn’t just expose you, it doesn’t just put you at risk. It puts the whole community at risk! Do we really care so little about others? So you may not get sick. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who never has any symptoms. Good for you!! But you could still be passing it on to others, making others sick, killing others. Doesn’t that matter to you? It sure does to me.
I’ll be honest, this stay at home thing isn’t that hard for me. I’m a homebody anyway and like I said, I’m not alone. Oh, I miss going to the grocery store to choose my own groceries (DH has taken this duty on as his way of protecting us as best he can against an unseen enemy), and I miss seeing my church family each week, and going to dinner with friends but I’m okay. This isn’t that hard for me, but I know how hard it is on others. I can imagine how very lonely this feels (I’ve lived through 3 very long deployments and too many TDYs to count. I know loneliness.) But I’d take this loneliness any day, over the possibility of unknowingly, or maybe even knowingly passing this virus on to someone who might not be strong enough, healthy enough to survive it.
As a Christian, as a Jesus follower, I’ve been taught to put others well-being over mine, to put others first, to love others – my family, my friends, my neighbors, even strangers – before myself and if that means staying home, being bored, losing some money (or even a lot), and so on, then so be it. I love you all too much to put any of you at risk.
I love you friends! I want you to be safe and well! Please be smart. Please use the wisdom God gave you and love your neighbors enough to stay home. If you need help, reach out! If you are lonely, call a friend and have a lovely chat. If you’re like me and this stay at home thing isn’t so hard, be sure to check in on your friends, family and neighbors who might really be struggling.
I try to connect with 32 people each week through phone, text, Facebook, email. And that’s just my congregations. I also try to connect with family and friends outside of my congregations as well. I’m not bragging, just showing you that it can be done. It doesn’t have to be at this level but try to reach out to each other a few times a week. There are many out there who aren’t ok, so take a few minutes of the day to reach out to them. Check in, say hello, listen, share life. We have a really great opportunity here to show that we care, to connect with one another. To show what kind of people we really are! Let’s the be good kind!
I love you, Friends! Be safe, Be well, and Be kind. Show LOVE.