Everyone has been impacted by what some are calling the Great Disruption. We had a Great Depression, a Great Recession and now the Great Disruption. We have learned what social distancing means.
However there is a big difference between social distancing and social isolation. Isolation takes a big toll, hurting us mentally, emotionally and physically. The dramatic change in face to face interactions with people outside our families has created a void in our lives. Even you introverts are starting to feel it! You don't mind being by yourself but you don't like being told you have to be by yourself.
This gives us a unique opportunity to connect with our neighbors who are experiencing the same things. We know Jesus meant it when he said "love your neighbor as yourself". Right now the key is learning how to do this from six feet away.
Here are some simple suggestions (Courtesy of Unseminary):
1. Reach out to your neighbors by phone or email
If you don't have the information leave a note on the door explaining who you are, where you live, how they can get in touch with you. Be sure to wash your hands first!
2. When you see people outside....Make it point to talk to them.
One minute conversations are a big deal when it comes to building relationships in our neighborhood. Write down and remember the names of your neighbors as you learn them.
3. Ask your neighbors how they are doing in the midst of this crisis.
Simple thoughtful questions like:
How are you and your family doing with all the changes?
Has this impacted your job?
Have you noticed anything good in all the adjustments we have had to make?
Is there anything you need I could help you with?
Have you been able to find the groceries you need?
Real relationships are a two-way street - don't hesitate to ask for help or share how you are feeling and doing.
Don't allow your neighbors to be isolated.