Called to Be Community of Encouragement
by Zig Main
When Ali and I lived in England, one of our favorite places to take our boys (and our friends) was to Warkworth, a quaint village in Northumberland. This was partly for the beautiful stone cottages and lovely cafes, but primarily because of the picture-perfect medieval castle which we could explore (over and underground).
But hidden away in the woods was another historical site - a hermitage built into the rock. There the hermit would live free to spend most of his life separated from others and in the presence of God. But even he would encounter others as they would come and bring him food to bolster what he could glean from the woods.
However, we are called to be the body of Christ and a community of encouragement. Thankfully, this is not like the flu pandemic of 1918, in which social distancing meant complete isolation. For this is the age of texting, email, phone calls, and even video calls. There are so many ways to keep in touch with everyone, even those who are sick, so that we are able to combat loneliness by sharing the love and care we feel for each other through our electronic devices.
On Monday night, I had the delight of sharing a digital meal with another family from church. While we each ate our food, we talked through a video call. We may not have been in the same room, but we were together. Sharing love, support, and care. I heartily recommend it!
So, in this time of separation, of being deprived of so many everyday interactions, let us spend extra time in the presence of God, as there is so much to pray for. But let us not live life as hermits, but use all the technology that we have today to truly be a community of encouragement!