Connecting Amid Social Distancing

1 John 3:18

Let us not love with words or with speech but with actions and in truth.

It is so easy to say “I love you” but in today’s social distancing environment, how do we show that love? The heart of Christianity is fellowship, a sense of mutual connection. But just when our neighbors, friends and family need our help or a kind action, the new mandate of social distancing is challenging how we show that love and offer support.

To help navigate this new landscape, here are some easy ways your children and family can support your community and foster relationships, yet stay safe and healthy. 

  1. Beautify your neighborhood by allowing your children to decorate your sidewalks with chalk art. This is a sure way to spread words of encouragement and bring smiles to neighbors out walking, running or riding bikes.
  2. Spring Cleaning – With so much “home time” many of us are cleaning closets and pantries. Donate your extra clothing to a shelter or homeless ministry. Share your BOGO items with a local food bank.
  3. Set a time (or two) each day to call or FaceTime friends and family. Do you have distant cousins or friends who you think of yet never have the time to connect with? Do you have elderly neighbors who may feel isolated and lonely? The friendly voice of a child will be sure to brighten their day. 
  4. All hospitals, nursing care facilities, assisted living facilities are in “lock out” meaning they are not allowing visitors. This can be scary for the families but even more so for the patients and elderly. Spend time each day to write/draw encouraging cards to the residents and mail the cards to a near-by facility or hospital. 
  5. Send a pizza: Teachers, first-responders, even a neighbor or friend, could really use a simple gesture like a hot pizza delivery to brighten their day. 
  6. Is there a time of day you have noticed more neighborhood traffic? Walkers, runners or dog walking? Put on a porch concert or “carolling” favorite children’s hymns from the sidewalks of homes while keeping a safe distance. Music is medicine for the soul!
  7. Small group devotions: Gather your child’s friends (and your adult friends) for a daily devotion via FaceTime or other social networking platform. A quick 5 or 10 minute check in with words of encouragement can help smooth the bumps we are all experiencing from being in close quarters. Check out The Christ School’s daily morning devotion with a focus for children.
  8. Schedule time each day to reflect on your blessings. Teach your children to be thankful, even in challenging times. Write letters/cards of thanks to loved ones, friends, teachers, pastors, your mail delivery team, first responders. A note of appreciation can go a long way in support of those who are working hard on the frontlines.
  9. Focus on kindness – refrain from complaining. This is our moment to be the voice of faith, hope, and love – especially on social media. Post a verse, a devotion or funny mime. 
  10.  Enjoy your home and stay put!  Through these, and other activities, we will be reminded how immensely blessed we are. Pray with your family and offer prayers of thanksgiving for janitors, doctors, nurses, chaplains, first responders, drivers, and laborers all of whom are working outside of their homes so we can stay in ours.

Our Lord never leaves us. He is the same today, tomorrow and forever. May we be known by our love in these unique times.

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