One of the down sides of this pandemic that is affecting us all is the fact that we are all being forced into isolation. That might not necessarily be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that we are already too isolated as individuals in society. It’s a part of our social fabric. We keep to ourselves. We share very little. We already pass each other too often as ships in the night.
We spend hours each day, side by side on the freeway encased in our own automobiles. We don’t even have our windows open because our climate is artificially controlled. And when we arrive home from our lonely commute, we have a garage door opener that lets us in our garage and closes the door behind us as we walk into our kitchen. We can go weeks without even seeing our neighbors beyond an occasional wave, or if we’re lucky, an actual “Hi, how are you?”
We each have to have our own stuff. We can’t share a ladder or a lawnmower. Or how about something you don’t use all the time, like a boat or an R.V.? Nope. Everybody’s got to have everything, and all of our stuff isolates us even more.
Besides all this, we walk around inside our own self-inflicted cocoons. We’ve been practicing “social distancing” for some time now, ever since the front porch disappeared from our architecture, and the front lawn from out landscape. We can even attend church without much communication with each other.
So now we are ordered to stay at home and practice “social distancing” when we’re out. Funny, I haven’t noticed much difference, except when the woman with a full shopping cart in front of me at the supermarket yesterday offered to let me go ahead of her with my small basket of things, but the clerk said no, because it would put us all too close to each other.
So what shall we do in light of creating a distance that already put us too far apart? I suggest we make an extra effort to connect in other ways available to us through cell phone, texting, FaceTime and social media. There are lots of opportunities; we just have to make them.
Our good friend Pam Mark Hall showed up at our Bible study last Wednesday, and it was so great to see her. She followed up with some funny pictures of concerts we’ve done together in the distant past — funny, because of how we looked and what we were wearing then. And then we’ve been texting some since and yesterday she wrote, “Don’t disappear! That’s my only complaint with you.” Ouch! She’s right; I disappear on people. That’s my fault. If I don’t make the effort, I will fade away.
So in your “social distancing” don’t get too distant. Figure out ways to keep in touch. And get in touch with people you haven’t seen in a while. Come out of isolation. Join us for our Bible study on Zoom Wednesday nights and Church on Facebook, Sunday nights, both at 6:00 p.m. PDT. Let’s figure out how we can use these technological tools to cut down the distance on “social distancing.”