It was March 13th I believe and I was at the beach enjoying time with my whole family (kiddos were in town) when we started getting news that schools, sporting events, retail stores and the like were shutting down. Soon after the “shelter in place”order (some people call it being in quarantine) was issued by local, state, and federal authorities.
For the first couple of weeks I was okay with the “shelter in place” business. After all, it gave me an excellent excuse to watch old reruns of Magnum PI without guilt. But soon enough I grew weary of it, not with Tom Selleck, but staying away from people.
It was then I realized I was starving.
And I don’t mean starving as in hungry for food. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was invading my fully stocked pantry several times a day plundering the spoils of my Covid19 food supply. Nope that wasn’t the problem.
I was starving for community.
Now I’m the first to admit I like scrolling through social media when I’m waiting —waiting in a doctors office, waiting at a stop light, waiting for the gas tank to fill, waiting for water to boil. But scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, even Face-timing with friends wasn’t filling my void.
When the question was posed to me recently, “What do you think God is teaching you through this season?” I wasn’t sure. But then my husband got a phone call.
It was from David’s brother saying their father, Ray, who was in the hospital due to a fall, was being taken to hospice and we should come.
We threw a few things in the car, including our hand sanitizer, masks and wipes and were off within the hour. (This is huge for me as normally I’m an over achiever packer.)
After four and a half hours of driving, one bathroom break and crossing the forbidden Florida Georgia state line, we arrived at hospice. My first thought was, we have a large family, twenty or so, how are we going to do this? Are they going to let us all in there to be with my father-in-law? Will we have to wear a mask and stand six feet apart?
I walked in hesitant, unsure of what the proper protocol was for this out of place, shelter in place situation. But when we saw the family, David’s brother, sisters and spouses, who incidentally were also quarantining themselves, the masks came down and the arms came out … and around. By the next day all the walls that were involuntarily inflicted on us were gone.
And I wasn’t hungry anymore. I was full. (Of course that didn’t stop me from eating!)
I understood now what God was trying to teach me, … us. At least in part.
We are made for community and our dependance on technology is killing us.
It is virtually impossible to meet the needs of communing with each other via a virtual community. Click To TweetWe have substituted social media and that includes text messaging, for personal presence —voice to voice, touch to touch. We can’t see that it isn’t filling our void until the void is real and tangible.
Sheltering in place feels out of place because it is not a part of God’s plan for us. Not being in community feels like a itch that can’t be scratched. Click To Tweet
Join me in praying that all this out of place sheltering in place is over soon because trying to replace manmade with what is God made and ordained will not quench thirst or stave off hunger. It will never satisfy.
“And let us consider how we can spur each other on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Looking forward, pressing on and trusting God in every bump and twist in my road.
Photo credit: Aaron Burden
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