Yesterday, I went to the store to shop for a few things. We weren’t desperate for any one item, but several things on my list remained unchecked because the shelves were barren. In fact, as I pushed my cart through the aisles, I kept recalling that film I’d seen about Communist Cuba and how grocery stores had limited hours and extremely limited products. The store remained strangely quiet–like a solemn hush of fear had draped the place. Few returned my smiles or even looked me in the eye if I spoke to them. I wanted to reassure them: I am not ill. Please look at me. We need each other. I went home grieving.
Last night, my husband and I watched the latest Jumanji installment and had a pleasant break from the drama surrounding every area of our lives. We laughed and relaxed and just enjoyed being together. But one conversation between two characters jolted me. She said, “When we are weak and insecure is when we need each other the most.” And I thought, how true that is! When we are afraid and unsure and vulnerable, we need to pull close into healthy community, not isolate ourselves from it.
So, my hope is that you are reaching out to your friends, having walks in the woods with a few trusted sisters or brothers, catching up over coffee, texting, video chatting and calling them on the phone. Remember, we don’t have to cut ourselves off altogether to maintain the safety perimeters.
I’ve been asking myself–and the Lord–how in the world do you want me to remain purposeful (with my time and my relationships)?
Here are some tips I think help us stay grounded:
- Video chat with your small group, church, or other friends.
- Meet up one-on-one or in smaller groups to hike, bike, or just talk.
- Learn something new or tackle a project you didn’t have time for prior
- Call those who are elderly or stuck at home. They need to hear a loving voice and know they aren’t forgotten.
- Write letters to those you appreciate, regardless of where they live.
- Cook healthy meals and get LOTS of exercise and sunshine.
- Combat monotony by creating a schedule with one creative or unique thing per day that is different.
- Reconnect with those within your own home. Go through photo albums together, dance to music, play a board game, bake together, paint a mural on a large poster board together. Be innovative!
- Go through a book or listen to an audio version together.
- Pray together.
- Print up little postcard-size invitations to your online church services that you can leave stuck in your neighbors’ doorjambs. Along with the website, give them the times and let them know they can ask questions if they are searching. Maybe something like this:
12. Remember, you aren’t alone. The best way to combat the blues is to reach out and help someone else. Think of all the ways we are blessed right now. God is still good. He is still on the throne. And He has not abandoned you. He will bring beauty from ashes. Encourage someone today!