For the last 14 months we’ve all been playing a pretty intense game of “keep away” from others.
Physical distancing, face masks, working from home, social bubbles, Zoom meetings, and live streaming have all meant that we’ve had limited personal contact — sometimes even with people we have close relationships with, and certainly with neighbors, acquaintances, and particularly strangers. (For those of us who are introverts, this, perhaps, hasn’t been all bad.) 🙂
But now that things are opening or have opened up, we’re discovering that adjusting back to “normal” is going to take a little effort.
Switching out those sweats for real clothes, getting kids to school on time, remembering to put gas in our car regularly — it all takes a little work! But it’s worth it, of course. Because this is ultimately a much more satisfying way to live.
As a Christ-follower, I know that as our world opens up, I, too, need to open up again.
Jesus called us the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). I need to (want to! ) return to being “salt and light.”
Jesus said: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). I need to (want to!) “Go.” This is the calling God has given me. This is what ultimately gives me purpose, and great pleasure. But I know it’s going to take a little work on my part, especially after all these months of somewhat-comfortable isolation.
I’m going to have to be intentional to find ways and notice opportunities to interact with people. I’m going to need to work a bit at loving others who believe differently than I do, rather than judging them. I’m going to need to work at asking others good questions, and listening to them, rather than talking and telling them what I think.
But it will all be so worth it because when we do these things, we partner with the Holy Spirit in helping people to experience God’s goodness and grace.
We’re living in a time when people are deeply hurting. Everyone has experienced some sort of loss over this last year, and we as Christians have hope and a source of healing to offer. Let’s be intentional about opening up to our friends, neighbors, acquaintances and even strangers as God gives us opportunity.
I bet we’ll find out it’s worth the effort!
Want to “open up” and reach the world around you?
The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations offers great practical help!