COVID-19 is the current buzz word. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has so may people paralyzed by fear. Quarantines are in place, basic groceries are hard to find, businesses and schools are shutting down, and the worst part seems to be the social distancing requirements. Social distancing is keeping us from activities such as outings, concerts, eating out, and even church. This one hit me hard y’all.
During this time I want to share a few ways to keep yourself protected and healthy, encouragement from God’s Word, and some practical ways to continue our mission of hospitality while we’re in this crisis.
Ways to Stay Protected:
1.) Wash your hands. Don’t forget the moisturizer after you wash. Your hands may be clean, but if they’re so dry that they’re cracking, they will pick up even more bacteria/virus.
2.) Wipe down surfaces often, especially if you’re still working outside of your home.
3.) Do not use a public bathroom if you can help it.
4.) Stay home unless absolutely necessary, especially if you don’t feel well. It might be “just a cold” but a weakened immune system is more susceptible to another virus. Be smart, and listen to the professionals when it comes to quarantine. This is not a hoax and you are not above the rules/risks.
5.) Do NOT go to the emergency department unless you have a life or limb threatening illness/injury. The chances of you walking out of there with something worse that you came in with are very high right now. This is not the time to go the the ED for your hemorrhoids, earache, or sinus infections. Most hospital systems are set up to do virtual visits to deal with that stuff.
6.) Do NOT touch your face. And for the love of all humanity, don’t eat without washing your hands. (see #1)
Encouragement from God’s Word:
Over and over again in God’s Word we see that we not only encouraged, but commanded, to not fear. Some of my favorite verses to read, and meditate on, during uncertain times are these:
1.) Psalms 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
God is our eternal source of stability and comfort. When I feel afraid, I have a conversation with my Holy Father. I tell Him that I’m afraid and why I’m afraid, and then I leave it with Him. Make this a daily practice in your life and see if your heart can be calmed.
2.) Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We are not alone. Our Savior is with us during this crisis, and He is not affected by social distancing. Talk to Him often and listen for His response telling you to be of good cheer, for He will overcome.
3.) Psalms 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
We may be walking through uncertain and dark times, but we have this hope that He is with us. We must remain calm during this time and be a light, shining brighter now than ever before.
As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedyI have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let goSo, whatever happens I will not be afraid
Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear You call my name
I still believe that one day I’ll see Your face
There’s no question about it, we can’t practice hospitality like we’ve been doing. Gatherings and large dinners have been put on hold and people are anxious about going to someone’s home at this time. Even so, we can still be hospitable and open to others. Now more than ever, people are in desperate need of encouragement, wellness checks, and kindness. Below are a few ways to practice hospitality while also practicing social distancing:
1.) Virtual Gatherings. I host a small group at my home on Tuesday evenings. A group that has had to cease meeting for the time being due to the quarantine . This is something that my heart needs so I’m going to be setting up Zoom virtual meetings instead. Try something like this for family and friends who have the technology access. Consider a fun game night or hang-out via Marco Polo, Zoom, Facebook Live, or Face time.
2.) Elderly and Unemployed. Please check in on your grandparents, or the elderly in your community that have no family. They are likely terrified right now. If you are 100% healthy, venture to the grocery store and put together care packs to drop off on their porch. Pick up the phone and call them. They can’t get out, and it’s too risky for visitors, so they need to know that they are not forgotten.
Consider the thousands of people that have been laid off due to COVID closures. If there is some way to help them please do it. If you are one of those people, please reach out to someone you trust for help.
Items to consider for a care pack:
-Dried pasta and rice
-Jarred pasta sauce
-Packaged cookies and crackers
-Personal care products
3.) Family and Friends. Just because they’re not elderly doesn’t mean they’re not suffering from loneliness. Check in on your friends and family. Send a text message, pick up your phone and call them, video chat, or email. Loneliness is something we are either are suffering friend, or have suffered from at some point. Chances are, someone you’re close to desperately needs some attention and love. This is a critical time to show them that love by letting them know they haven’t been forgotten. Use your extra time at home to write a letter (yes…hand-write a letter) or make a crafty card to send them. I guarantee it will mean the world to them.
One last thing I want to share: This is not mine, but I’m not sure who originally created it.
“When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine check-up
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people
We wanted to be,
We were called to be,
We hoped to be.
And may we stay that way, better for each other because of the worst.”
I’m praying for all of my readers during this time of crisis and darkness. May you all experience the love of our Savior in ways you’ve never felt it before. May you and your families stay healthy and safe. And may you never forget to show kindness to another, for we are all in this together.