All that we are in this world is incarnational.
A nice big theological word that means we are flesh and blood… incarnational.
I think that is what is so painful for each and everyone of us right now, even if we can’t put words to it.
It started as we switched from hugging during the Passing of the Peace to shaking hands and then to a non-descript elbow bump, that if done with a little too much gusto might give someone a black eye.
And now… we don’t even have that.
I delivered meals to the vulnerable among us tonight. And of course, there were rules:
Knock on the door with your elbow
Place the food on a level surface
Step back a minimum of 6 feet
If nobody answers… just leave the food.
It’s almost easier when nobody answers the door.
When the door does creak open and you see a lonely woman, still in her night clothes making a smile appear from behind a worn and worried face, what do you say as words of comfort?
I’m not even supposed to pick up the food and hand it to her, though her body is riddled with arthritis and her eyesight can’t quite make out the shape of the Styrofoam box on the white floor.
And what does one say?
Social distancing… it seems so rude, as if I’m suggesting that they have a disease that I don’t want to catch.
Some rules are meant to be broken.
I’m not suggesting we go on a hugging and kissing spree. I’m merely saying that, if we live into our Christian calling, that this world isn’t supposed to be sanitized and safe.
I carried her food into her one-bedroom apartment.
And I said a brief prayer – six feet apart – and I left while wiping my hands on the sanitizing wipe I carried with me.
All of this is to say that while we live in this new reality… don’t forget that Christ was incarnational for each one of us. He took on flesh and blood and the dangers and germs of this broken world.
For you, my prayer is that you are home … safe … loved … healthy …and know that you are never alone, for God is, was and always will be.
Follow the guidelines.
Practice social distancing.
And to those that live in your tiny little circle right now, hold them close, cuddle on the couch, kiss them goodnight, hold hands when you pray and be thankful.