Separate Together

Nothing reveals a longing for community like a call to remain apart.

About two weeks ago, I stood in our church’s prayer garden. A few days earlier our church leaders decided to close down our physical campus, and I was filming a quick message to the congregation. There’s always been heavy foot traffic around Westminster. It’s a great place to walk. Waves and smiles are commonplace, but on this day, everyone stopped to talk (from a distance of course). Only one knew I was the pastor of the church. 

I went on a bike ride with my youngest daughter last week. She sat in her seat on the handle bars waving at cars, as she often does. Typically, when we ride together, she’ll get a response from a handful of cars. I’ve always chalked it up to people being busy or preoccupied, moving too fast to pay attention to their surroundings. Not this time. Every single car waved back. Every. One. 

This morning, Hailey gave our neighbor our phone numbers. Minutes later she sent a text. Grateful for connection. 

On of my favorite books on neighboring is The Art of Neighboring. The basic premise is that our cities and communities would be much safer, healthier, friendly…if folks in the church would prioritize being a good neighbor. 

In the forward to the book, Randy Frazee writes,

“The command to love our neighbors lies at the core of God’s plan for our lives, and when we follow this mandate, it changes everything.” 

So my question, for you, for me…for all of us is — outside of keeping a safe distance from them, what are some creative ways we can love our neighbors in the face of this pandemic?

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