When I look at my life, it feels pretty inter-connected, full, enjoyable and diverse. That was until around 3 weeks ago, when that world started to get smaller and smaller. Now, my reality consists of the house where I live, the occasional walk, run or cycle ride nearby and trips to the supermarket. To make matters worse, last week, my broadband connection went down for 5 days and I had to live off my mobile phone 4G package.
What does this say about loneliness, about being trapped and about my faith?
Firstly, I’d start by saying that I’ve been praying more, I’ve been making an increased effort to think of my friends and family. It’s made me realise, that I could have given more time to those who deserved it in the past. Perhaps this response is what many Christians are thinking right now. Emotions of guilt and selfishness are definably forefront in my mind which perhaps I didn’t event realise previously.
Secondly, by being self-candid here, I’m hoping for a better dialog with my neighbours and by that, I mean my physical neighbours on the street. When Jesus discussed neighbours, he was talking about the whole world:
Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Like thousands of others globally, I’ve setup a WhatsApp group for my street and bit by bit, it’s grown. As of today, there’s 27 houses involved. It’s a place where we can support each other, tell tales of how we keep ourselves busy during the self isolation and look out for those who need a lending hand. There’s nothing very much Christian there as yet, but it’s entirely possible, there are other Christians on the street. Let’s see where it goes as a first step.
As many of you know, I’m a pretty active and sport guy. So being cooped up feels very weird. I’m hoping that all my WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom and House Party meetings can really make a difference to my faith and not just be a stop gap or coping mechanism. So far, it feels good and I’m feeling positive!