I am writing this devotion on Tuesday morning. It is almost 11 hours after the Kansas City mayor’s shelter in-place order went into effect. If you remember, the sky was gray and overcast. It was raining. I’ve made a temporary work station out of our dining room table. It affords me a view of Main Street.
Normally there are cars parked on the southbound side of Main Street. They belong to the young ladies who attend St. Theresa’s Academy. Also there is usually a fair amount of traffic on Main but it’s been eerily quiet. The only real commotion this morning is the one young man on a commercial riding mower; he is across the street cutting the lawn at St. Theresa’s. This social distancing order is really messing things up! Isolation feels unnatural to me.
One of the things that I glean from Jesus teachings about love is that it is hard to practice it from afar or in isolation. The most effective way for love to be shared is in close quarters with others. Interaction with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers is the highway on which love travels best. Isolation feels like an uncharted road in the middle of nowhere and it is a road that does not lead to greater love.
Luckily for most of us, we live with the advantage of technology. There are tools that allow us to electronically connect with others and even be able to see each other on the screen. What was once the stuff of science fiction shows is now mundane and ordinary. The question is, during this time of isolation, will we take advantage of these tools so that we can connect, share love, and be loved?
I encourage you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move into reflection on the questions below. I hope that they will guide you as you devise a plan to stay connected with others during this time of isolation. Help share God’s love through your intentional outreach and daily interactions. I also pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.
- What are you thinking in this moment? What fills your mind during this unprecedented time of isolation?
- What is it that you would like to be doing that is positive and good but you’re not in the mental frame of mind to do it?
- Are you prone to periods of mental and spiritual darkness? What practices are you doing to curb this, especially during this unique time?
- Whose love do you need to feel today?
- Is there someone in your sphere that is isolated and alone, someone that needs to know that they are being thought of and that they are loved?
- Do you know someone that is alone and isolated? What can you do to help them feel connected?
- In what ways can you practice sacrificial love for your family, your community of faith, and your neighbors?
Merciful God. This is a unique time in human history, in our society, in our city, and in my home. There have been times of isolation in my life but never a time when it was mandated by the government. It could be very easy for me to sink into darkness, depression, and even greater isolation but I believe your love won’t let me. It is a deep love that was willing to sacrifice to the point of death so that I might have life. Help me to see light where others see darkness. Help me to experience hope where others feel despair. Help me to be a model of love in a world that is scared and confused. I pray for your powerful Holy Spirit that can use me in sacrificial ways so that your love might be made known in our isolated world. Please let your love shine through me as you use me to connect with others. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.