What extraordinary times we are in! Or are they? Being a student of history can help bring some perspective to our social distancing and isolation while our families are at home.
While reflecting on being stuck at home for weeks or possibly months on end, memories of my grandmother came to mind. My grandmother was born in France and had my father during the beginning of World War II in Europe.
I’ve heard many stories from her and her siblings about the endless hours spent waiting in bomb shelters. My uncle learned how to knit as a young boy without anything else to do while waiting out the bombings in Normandy--a skill he later taught me!
Who can forget Anne Frank’s isolation in the attic? And of course the children of the Narnia chronicles were sent off to the countryside for their epic adventures during World War II. We are not alone! The creativity with which God endowed us can overcome these current circumstances too.
I’m so thankful for the blessing technology affords us to stay connected even if virtually. Our kids are coming up with creative ways of staying connected with each other on a daily basis to continue their school experience. I think we as adults can learn from their desire to stay connected and come up with some ways to reach out to those we no longer see regularly. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Join or Start an Online Bible Study with Friends
We all need the assurance and peace that comes with studying God’s Word. Why not dig deeper into a book of the Bible with others and share your insights and ideas? We can encourage each other through the study of His word. If you don’t know where to start, Bible Study Fellowship is a great place to consider. This year, they are studying the Book of Acts.
2. Online Social Bible Apps
Not up for a Bible Study? Invite others to join you in a Bible reading plan though the YouVersion Bible App. It’s a wonderfully social way to see what others are reading. You can also comment on other’s Bible reading activity or go through a reading plan with friends within the app. They have tons of shorter reading plans that can not only keep you connected to one another but also to God.
3. Set-Up A Virtual Get Together
Set-up video conferencing get-togethers with friends, family or neighbors. Facebook Messenger, Apple Facetime, or Google Duo are all free and simple ways to connect face-to-face. I popped in on my teenager’s social app and was surprised at how great it was to see the faces once again I typically see daily.
4. Make a phone call
Use the old fashioned telephone feature on your mobile device to call that elderly neighbor to check in and have a conversation. Do you know someone in a nursing home? With visitor restrictions, they are in need more than ever. They are less likely to be tech-savvy and have the opportunity to connect face-to-face.
Reaching out to our elderly family and neighbors will help keep them connected during this extended isolation. What better way to live out James 1:27 which instructs us to visit the widows in their affliction.
5. Those Closest To Us
Don’t forget to connect with those in our own houses! I know I’m guilty of this. I can get busy with work or chores while my teenager spends hours on his device with his friends and then watches TV in the basement alone.
Take this opportunity to reconnect with those closest to us with non-screen activities like family game night, a cooking or baking challenge, jigsaw puzzle, or working together on a house improvement project. It’s also the beginning of gardening season in Michigan. Why not get an area of your yard ready and grow some flowers or vegetables? It can turn out to be a fun science experiment and in a few months one less reason to go to the grocery story!
While there are many stressful and fearful things happening in our world right now, we can take this opportunity to slow down, connect with those around us in more meaningful and Christ-centered ways. It will be increasingly important as our isolation continues through the weeks to reach out to those around us. Share your ideas on how to stay connected in the comment section below!