The world is a scary place right now. Our old normal feels so far away. Every where you go people are wearing masks. It’s all necessary, but smiles are hidden and fear seems to be rising amongst our community.
It’s amazing how I forgot how much a simple smile affects me. I miss the impact of a hug from a friend or a casual, normal conversation with a stranger at the grocery store.
I miss community. I miss people. I miss our church.
I know I am not the only one feeling this way and experiencing the change happening in our world. Those are affected by this virus near and far. I wrote a few weeks ago in an Instagram story how one of the members of our church rode through my neighborhood to drop something off for the church and it lifted my spirit to see him.
My dear friend, Charles.
He serves at our church on Sundays. I look forward to seeing Charles and his family every Sunday. He has a contagious smile and he’s a great conversationalist. I hadn’t seen him or his family in months up until this day. His demeanor makes even a stranger feel like they’ve known him for awhile. There are so many others, just like Charles who I miss and care about dearly.
It’s been 5 months since we’ve been able to meet as a church. I miss serving and seeing people find a place where they belong. Community is vital and I love that church opens up the door to these deeper relationships. God created us to be in relationship with one another. He created us FOR one another and to LOVE one another. At this point, we are not sure when our church will meet again. Although, we may not be able to meet in big gatherings, we can have hope that we will meet again one day. And when it happens, it will be amazing.
I read this morning in Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Guess what! We still have an opportunity in 2020 to “motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
Robbie and I heard on a devotional the other day, “Make this year about people.” I wrote it on a dry erase board in our bathroom as a reminder. I want to make this year about people. The world, as of right now, is telling us to push people away and to stay safe. Even pursuing friendships feels different than it did before with the safety precautions in place, but Robbie and I are still trying our best to make this year about people and value them in the safest ways possible.
You may be wondering, how do you do that?
Simple. Pursue people even if it feels awkward and let people know you care about them.
We’ve been trying to practice these two simple things safely during this pandemic even though it feels hit or miss at times. Valuing people and letting them know you care about them can be shown in various ways.
Send a card. (I LOVE snail mail! Can we bring it back?)
Text or call a friend to say hello and that you are thinking about them. I try to do this weekly.
Get food delivered for a family.
Ask a neighbor how you can help them this week. Spark a conversation with them.
Do something kind for someone randomly and go out of your way for them.
Host a family for dinner (if you’re comfortable).
Keep pursuing. Don’t give up.
There is a building in Asheville with a mural painted and it says, “Love is not canceled.” I love this! 2020 has been a stressful year and so much has been canceled all around the world but….
LOVE doesn’t have to be canceled or paused. People don’t have to be canceled.
Let’s make this year about them. People are important.