The recent situation with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the entire world’s response to this disease has caused me to look more closely at our need for each other. Mankind was not meant to be alone. We were designed to be interdependent on one another. From the very start when Adam, the first man, was created, God stated a remarkable truth.
Genesis 2:18. Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Aloneness, being apart from others, should not be the normal. It is not good. Solitary confinement is a form of punishment in prisons. Some consider it a very harsh form of punishment. Loneliness can be very tough on those who are homebound and do not have contact with others.
This truth came to the front of my mind during this time in our country when we were mandated to practice “social distancing” – no less than six feet from any other human, and for many, this turned into being quarantined in one’s home. For families with children, this may not have been an issue, but for widows and single folks living alone, this extended time could feel very lonely.
Thankfully, due to modern technology, we were able to bring a small bit of respite from loneliness through online, virtual fellowships, where we could meet together through video and audio chats. After being homebound for over 17 days, I hosted my first “virtual” fellowship. Many of us had not seen each other for several weeks. As I looked around at the beautiful saints that were connecting through online video and audio stream, you could see in the faces how welcoming it was to visit with each other. We went around the “virtual” room and each shared how they were doing. After we prayed together and read some Scriptures, the fellowship was over, but some wanted to remain a little while longer and continue to fellowship.
As I closed out the meeting, I had such a strong sense in my soul that this social distancing, being kept away from one another is not the way God designed life; rather, we need one another. We were designed to be social people. All races, nations, and languages need and long to belong and have fellowship one with another.
A few days later, when it was a beautiful spring day with temps in the 60’s, I decided to go for a walk around my neighborhood. I have done this two mile walk hundreds of times before, often on a Saturday when people are outside, working around the yard, walking their dogs, etc. This day as well, people were outside their homes, yet they maintained the “6-feet” mandate of “social distancing.” But, something was very different on this day. When I have done this walk in the past, very few people look up and acknowledge I’m there. I often try and give a “hello” to people in the neighborhood, but usually folks just look away. That was not the case this day. Almost every person, before I could even get the words out, would yell out to me, “Hello!” with a big smile on their faces. Again, I saw, that people need people. It is built into our human nature – the need for social interaction.
This is so true for the body of Christ. The church is to be interdependent on each other.
Romans 12:4-5. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
We are all members of the body of Christ, and are dependent upon one another. Just as a human body has many working parts to function as one body, so too, in Christ; each member is important and has a specific function in the church. This time of “social distancing” has made me appreciate, so much more, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We should never take one another for granted, but rather encourage one another as we see the day of Christ is coming and we truly need one another.
Hebrews 10:25. Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.