Perhaps, like me, you are finding that some people are equating physical distancing with emotional distancing. And that’s a pity.
While it’s true that we need to keep our distance except among those with whom we live, that doesn’t mean we can’t exchange pleasantries with people we pass.
I live in a small community that has grown exponentially since we moved here almost 12 years ago. I don’t mind growth; I think it can be good for a town to experience growth, and I certainly think it can be both a blessing and a challenge to the church when it does. But since moving here, I have always spoken to, or at least smiled at, every person I’ve walked past on the sidewalk or on the streets where I walk. I think it’s the neighbourly thing to do.
One of the things I’ve noticed in the past few weeks is that people are so concerned about Coronavirus that some are even avoiding eye contact, as if that somehow communicates the virus.
We can’t let the need for physical distancing cauterize our emotions.
Sure, we can’t hug people who don’t live under our roof right now, and as a hugger, that pains me. But we can still be nice.
My wife was waiting, briefly, to go into a store earlier this week, and at the appropriate distance, she struck up a conversation with the attendant who was controlling the entrance. This is an uncomfortable time for all of us, but why not remain human, and pleasant, in the process?
It may be a small and simple way you can communicate Jesus’ love in a season where there just might be more openness to it.
“Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He has kept me safe when my city was under attack” (Psalm 31.21, NLT).