TUESDAY’S TIPPING POINT March 24, 2020
Well the governor has ordered us all to stay in, with some important exceptions. And one of those is for those who “work or volunteer for businesses or operations (including both religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.”
So I am here getting ready for our food pantry. We are following the guidelines that Feeding America has put forth, people are to come by appointment, and we will hand off to them prepackaged supplies of food for the week. Love INC has given us the list of referrals. Dan and Shirley Lawton put many of those packages together yesterday. They are not officially members but have been an important part of our community outreach for several years, so I want to give them a special thanks.
Another point in the order is that even when permitted activities are conducted we are expected to “adopt social distancing and other mitigation measures” which it goes on to list.
And in that regard I want to share with you some thoughts from Bruce Epperly, who is doing a blog on “Faith in a Time of Pandemic.” If you’d like, you can read more here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/livingaholyadventure/2020/03/faith-in-a-time-of-pandemic-physical-not-social-distance/
IX. PHYSICAL, NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. (I Corinthians 12:26)
There has recently been a discussion on Facebook about the appropriateness of using the counsel “social distancing” in Coronavirus messaging. Some suggest “physical distancing” would be a better term since it involves our physical rather than emotional or relational proximity. You can be next to someone and be emotionally absent. You can also feel great intimacy to a person living in Maryland, Missouri, Scotland, or China. As all of us know, there is no distance in love or prayer.
I am going to use the term “physical distancing” from now on to indicate that we can be joined despite our distance for each other. In the body of Christ, we are all connected. Our joys and sorrows are one. Our hearts are joined regardless of space or time.
So, let me advise “physical distancing” and “social connecting.” Today, you can bridge the distance by calling a friend from church, sending an email to a relative or someone from your high school class (I sent a note to a member of my high school class of 1970), say “thank you” to someone who has changed your life, and reach out to a vulnerable person in your circle of friends.
And, of course, keep praying. Prayer joins us across space and time and enables us to be one in the spirit despite physical distancing.
Loving God, keep us in relationship with you and one another. Remind us to speak words of love, care, and gratitude today, and recognize that we are all joined together by your Amazing Grace. Amen.
Grace and peace to you all.