This is the first in a series on how can be a blessing in a season of social distancing.
Waiting is hard. While we wait for information and the CDC website to update at noon, we wait.
There are many thing we can do while we wait, stay home and serve those around us as we can. (We can also be grateful if we do have a home to stay in if we do… many don’t at times like these.)
One thing I am doing is rethinking BLESS, which is a way to share our faith with those around us who do not yet truly believe God loves them. It is an acronym and gives us practical ways to serve those around us.
The basic idea behind “BLESS” comes from Genesis 12 where God chooses to use Abram and his family to literally bless the whole world.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
God promises Abram that Abram is going to be a-ok. He promises people and good things ahead. And God promises that Abram will be a channel through which “all” peoples will be blessed. That means e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.
God wants to bless us. Be near us. Comfort us. Challenge us (btw God called Abram out of his comfy lifestyle right before this list of promises – leave it all! That part came first.)
God does that with a purpose however. It isn’t for us to ahem, hoard it. He did it so that we could bless others.
I told a story that had happened one morning at breakfast. Calista, my eldest, was eating toast. Peanut butter and honey toast. And it was hot. Melty. Drippy. She has two pieces and guess what happened? The toast she was eating started to drip on the second piece that was still on her plate. She was eating it in such a way that the toast, still bare and plain, was getting the drips of the first piece. We joked she might not even have to use any more peanut butter or honey on that piece.
God has lathered us with peanut butter and honey. To be a sweet aroma, as 2 Corinthians 2:15 says. To drip on those around us. To share what we have. To be a blessing.
Does any of this sound applicable these days? Even as I type it I feel a weight on my chest about my own feelings as the news just keeps coming.
Would I rather just hunker down at home with my three wonderful kids, play Legos, watch movies, eat all the food, separate for my own self and ignore what is happening around me? Sometimes.
But I also have a deep sense of ache for those who might truly be suffering at home, homes that are NOT safe. Homes that have no food. No friends checking in. People who are older and have no way to connect with their families who want to keep them safe by staying away. Or people that do not have homes and the libraries and all of their safe places have had to shut their doors.
We have a chance to be the Church in a new way. To be a blessing in a new way. To call. Remember phone calls? We used to spend hours on the phone with our friends growing up.
We can also write letters.
Yesterday I went a walk and called to check in with my running friend, who is a doctor up North and found she was just on a walk thinking of calling me! Good for my soul.
To talk with the neighbors across the street or across the driveway. To text co-workers who are isolated and live alone. To check in with teachers who are sad to not see their students. Teachers who know their kids even hate 3-day weekends because home is not a happy place for them. Teachers who are sitting in meetings trying to learn how to teach on line when they are brand-new to the classroom setting!
And to check in with those making decisions that are affecting the rest of us.
Oh and to try and make the best decisions we can while not judging others for how they are responding to the news.
How can you be a blessing today? How can we reach out in safe, social distancing ways? How can the Lord give us such great creativity that our world goes – wow, I feel loved.
Let’s be a blessing at this time, willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of others while following God’s call at such a unique season.
(you can learn more about the BLESS resources on https://covchurch.org/evangelism/bless/ )
For the next blog in the series: https://lifeasan.asker.net/2020/03/24/we-can-still-be-a-blessing-b/