By Chris & Elizabeth McKinney
If you’re like us, in the last two weeks you’ve felt stressed, overwhelmed, afraid, more tired than normal, have had trouble focusing on work, and possibly even struggled with some decision fatigue. We’ve been struggling to keep our own eyes on Jesus and figure out things for our family moving forward. As a result, having an outward focus during this worldwide pandemic has been more difficult than usual. And yet, we know that God uses imperfect people to accomplish his perfect purposes. It has been during times like these throughout the history of the church that followers of Jesus have risen to the occasion to love and serve their neighbor. Those people were just as broken as we are. But they still found a way to build God’s kingdom.
So if you feel inadequate to love your neighbor right now, take heart. You’re in good company and God delights in using you where you are and as you are.
So, what are some simple first steps that we can do now to love our neighbors in the midst of our own stress, fear, and fatigue?
1. Renew Your Mind
Preach the truth to yourself right now. Remind yourself that:
- God is with you (Psalm 46:1)
- God is in control (Isaiah 46:9-10)
- God will give you all that you need for today (Phil 4:19)
2. Check in.
We talk often about finding an excuse to naturally connect with your neighbor. This is your excuse. If you already have their contact info or are connected on social media, send a short text/ msg to say you’re just checking in to see how they’re doing. Ask how the last week has been for them, and let them know you’re here if they need anything. If you don’t have their info, leave a short, hand-written note at their door to introduce yourself and provide your phone and/or email.
3. Drop off.
The longer we’re required to practice social distancing, the more the feelings of loneliness and isolation will grow in our ourselves and in our neighbors. Drop off something for a neighbor that will brighten their day and let them know that they’re thought of and they’re not alone. Consider a gift card from a local restaurant, a pre- packaged bag of popcorn and candy for a movie night, a puzzle, a roll of toilet paper (just kidding, but seriously), or something else.
In the words of Scott Sauls, “Wash hands, for sure. Then, wash feet.” How can we wash our neighbors’ feet from inside our homes? As the church, we’ll have to get a little more creative, but we’re about to find out. And we’re all in it together.
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