Skip to content

Making God Known in a Pandemic

Social distancing was a phrase first used in 1957 as an attitude rather than a physical term. It referred to someone who was aloof and deliberately attempted to keep oneself separate from the social riff raff. It was not seen as a positive attribute. A few days ago as my husband and I walked back home after our daily exercise in the park a 4 year old child saw us, turned to his mum and asked, rather loudly I thought, “why aren’t they social distancing?? They’re not even trying.” Admittedly we were holding hands. I would have thought most 4 year olds would never have heard about social distancing except for this virus that has gripped the world. The Oxford English Dictionary has had to add new definitions to reflect the changing meaning of words because of the current pandemic.

How can we socially distance well? As with most guiding principles people can fall on a sliding scale of extremes. From the ‘Coughin-dodgers’ who are so alarmed by an innocuous splutter or throat-clear that they back away in terror to those who are practicing ‘Anti-social distancing’ using health precautions as an excuse for snubbing neighbours and generally ignoring people they find irritating (both phrases were added to the urban dictionary recently as slang developed during this pandemic). 

Frank and Brenda from College Station in Texas live on a cul-de-sac and all their neighbours come out at 5 pm and sit on their driveways with a drink of their choice and they talk about their days and chat with one another, showing that communities can still draw together without having to enter each other’s homes. 

In the UK every Thursday evening at 8 pm the whole nation stands at their doors or hangs out of a window and claps to show their appreciation of the NHS and other key workers that are keeping the country running.

Bands and small groups are learning how to meet together abiding by social distancing guidelines but prioritising meeting and sharing God sightings and praying for one another in the open air for the entire neighbourhood to see.

Amazingly it has hardly rained in the UK since lockdown was impose so we have no excuse for not being out on our driveways chatting to neighbours and passers-by.

What about messaging your neighbours when you are going to the shops and offering to pick them up something and leave it on their doorstep. 

Maybe you have an elderly or disabled neighbour who can’t get out and doo their garden or whose gardener has stopped coming because of the virus. You could weed their garden or mow their lawn.

I recently discovered a shop where I can buy bread flour which has become a scarce commodity in the UK recently. I bought two bags and dropped them on my parents doorstep for my dad who loves to bake bread and hasn’t been able to get bread flour for a month. 

All these things can be done whilst sticking to social distancing guidelines. 

James said in his letter to the early Jewish Christians living in gentile communities “show me your alleged faith without the works if you can, and I will show you my faith by my works that is, by what I do.” (James 2:18b AMP)

How we socially distance and the things we do, our works, will make God known to others around us. 

error: Content is protected !!