|At Joni and Friends, many of our teams are out there doing all we can to serve the vulnerable special needs families in our circles. Others of us are ‘working remotely’ just look at this screenshot of my coworkers who labor alongside me in the radio department and the Founder’s office. The way our images are arranged, don’t we look like The Brady Bunch? We’ve been meeting ‘over the internet’ like this every day; first, to work on tasks together, get updates, delegate projects, share resources, and best of all, pray together. It is just… heartwarming to be able to actually see people, and pray and talk with them face-to-face especially during this time when so many of us at high risk are housebound!
Physical hugs are a no-no when you consider that COVID-19 could be hidden in every handshake. So, we are all the more dependent on the hands of Christ! As an aging, disabled person at very high risk, I am so grateful for Christian friends who have served as ‘the hands of Christ.’ A neighbor dropped off a gallon of milk (she was at a nearby store). Another friend, knowing that Ken Tada and I are relying mainly on frozen food from our fridge, took it upon herself to come and make us clam linguine for dinner. An honest to goodness home cooked meal?! It was beyond wonderful!
The few times my husband has ventured out to the market, he’s observed neighbors hoarding masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper, trying to get while the getting is good. Bless Ken’s heart, he has reached out at the deli counter to open conversations with nervous shoppers next to him, waiting for cold cuts. “We all know what each other are thinking,” Ken says, “so why not put to rest a little bit of the fear we see around us with a simple, kind word?”
Good advice, Ken. “When each new day brings uncertainties and worries about how bad things will get,” says Lyman Stone, “we must trust that God will give us enough grace (and enough hand sanitizer) for the day.” In a time of fear, our neighbors need to see God as a rock; they don’t need to see his people shrinking back in the face of physical danger.
And as it concerns doing Skype every day with The Brady Bunch? It helps. We live in a culture where people struggle against isolation and loneliness. They even say that COVID-19 may produce a mental health epidemic. It’s because isolated people (especially if they don’t know Jesus) are feeling even more isolated! And when you can’t go outdoors, or go to work, or congregate with friends; when you cannot hug and handshake, it affects people’s emotional stability. Especially among those who do not have Christ as their Rock.
So today, find ways to observe social-distancing, yet connect personally with people in need around you especially on your street. It’s a strange season and we simply must tell people wandering in this vast desert-desolation of COVID-19, that Living Water really can come forth from the Rock, our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ.