Physical Distance don't Social Distance
Social distancing is the new hot hashtag from politicians to business CEOs to teens and pastors alike. But let's ask ourselves is this really what we want to be doing?
God created us to be social creatures. He made men and women so they could live in community with each other not apart from each other. To help each other in times of need both physically and spiritually. If you have something our neighbour needs you are to give it to them. When our brothers and sisters in Christ are stumbling or losing faith we are to come alongside them and help them. We are to be social with others.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
25 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.
To say that Jesus and his followers didn't have to deal with this issue we are dealing with right now is a bit of an understatement. With no shoes that cover their feet from cuts, bites, dirt and parasites, Jesus and his fellow travellers had a host of health concerns that we have no concept of. No plumbing or bathroom facilities, no hand sanitizer or soap and water at their ready most people didn't live over 40! There were more communicable diseases than you could shake your walking stick at but this did not stop them from spreading the good news far and wide.
Though there is no mention specifically in the bible about mental illness you can be sure that those people deemed unclean suffered from depression, and anxiety of how they were being judged by others. Did Jesus ignore them? No, he went to them. He made time for those who needed him and believed in who he was. When everyone else socially distanced themselves Jesus came close. Those who had people around them hanging off their every word he distanced himself from.
Now I'm not saying that you should surround yourself with people who are sick and ignore the rules the government has set in place for us because Jesus didn't adhere to all the "rules" the Pharisees set out for the Jewish people to follow, what I am saying is you can still be socially close to those around you while physically being further away from them than perhaps you would normally be.
The creation of the internet and cell phones have given us the ability to be closer than ever to people hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We don't have to walk for a month in the hot desert to visit friends or family in the next community we can be there in an instant. Instead, it has isolated people from each other and presented a false sense of what other people are doing and how they are living. If everyone's life was what we saw on their Instagram feed and Pinterest boards it would appear that everyone had it all together all the time and how does a person reconcile that when it isn't the case in their own home.
We need to show others that we aren't all alone in this season however long it lasts. That we are all in this together at different levels. Where we can give to others what we have plenty of that they may be lacking. Whether it be milk and sugar or an open ear and a hand in prayer.