As of today, May 3, 2020 we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Truly, as has already been said, this is an unprecedented time. In fact, it’s been over 100 years since the last time anything like this has ever happened, going all the way back to 1918, when the Spanish Flu affected nearly 500 million people. To put it in perspective, that was about 1/3 of the world’s population at that time. Today’s equivalent of over 2 BILLION people. Absolutely incredible.
Of course, the entire dynamic is completely different now than it was then. Two things specifically that I want to mention:
- Population growth and placement
- Advancement in technology, namely the internet and communication abilities
So, when it became necessary to quarantine, or, as we call it today, socially distance ourselves, on the one hand, it probably wasn’t that difficult. However, on the other hand, it could have also created an incredible disconnect as well.
My point is this, while it is probably in our best interest right now, and has been for the last several weeks, to socially distance ourselves, we haven’t had to find ourselves disconnected, like the world would have 100+ years ago. So, just because we’re practicing distancing, does not mean that we need to practice disconnecting.
I would say just the opposite is true. Especially for those of us in the church world. Truthfully? I’ve had more meaningful phone conversations with my church members at The Hills over the last month than probably in the last 5 years combined! Our separation has forced us to remain connected, in a way that is different than just seeing one another once or twice a week.
I would even make a case that it is possible to see other people all the time, but to not really take the time to connect with them. I mean, I have seen NBA players at games, but, unfortunately, I’ve never really connected with them. So don’t mistaken seeing someone for connecting with them.
So here’s where we have to be a little creative. In fact, on this date, I actually released a podcast with my partner in crime David Morehead about discovering creativity through collaboration! Click here to check out our 3 Point Podcast.
True story. Almost every day, my 13 and 17 year old daughters either send a letter or card out in the mail, or receive one. I love that while they are digitally connected, they are exploring other ways to stay connected. Why? Because they’re not limiting the chance for connection to just seeing people. They understand that just because we’re social distancing doesn’t mean that we can’t remain social.
I even remember one time, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, a balloon landed in our yard. Come to find out, it had another kid’s name and address in it, from like 50 miles away, who wanted to be pen pals. Well, we’re not pen pals 30+ years later, but I do recall sending and receiving a couple of letters from him! Crazy I know…right? Imagine allowing your kid to just put their name, age and address out there for just whoever to get ahold of…it’s such a different day and age in which we’re living.
The great news is this, while you might not be able to SEE your family and friends right now, you CAN remain connected. I’ve even realized that we’ll get through this crisis, with new skills, new methods, new and innovative ways of doing things. Or, maybe even just going back to some old fashioned ways of communicating, like sending out a hand written letter, mailing out a thoughtful card, or even picking up the phone and having a nice conversation, instead of just firing off a text or two.
Here’s your homework assignment for the week. Connect with someone in a way that you haven’t done ever before, or perhaps at least for a while. Just try it. See what happens!