We are now completing a full
year of having our lives turned
upside down. We wear masks,
avoid contact with people, and
generally stay away from the
places we formerly frequented.
While most everyone feels these are necessary safety measures, there is a downside of which many are unaware.
Humans are social beings and isolation is a killer.
We are no longer allowed to gather in large groups. Some of our favorite eating spots have closed. The elderly are no longer able to meet at their local Senior Center, which means many of them have no social interaction at all through the week.
These cracks in our regular social life can have a negative effect on our psyche if we are not careful.
We can begin to feel left out, unwanted, like we don’t belong. What little time we do get together at church or at a restaurant or even a chance meeting in the grocery store is now handled differently.
Gone are the friendly handshakes and hugs. Gone is the lengthy time spent talking while the world moves around us.
Some of us are in ZOOM meetings two, maybe three times a week, but that does not fill the social need—it may just keep something at bay. Many are beginning to suffer from ZOOM fatigue.
This vacancy in our life begins to get magnified in our mind. We begin to feel like we NEVER get to see anyone.
Pretty soon that translates into NOBODY wants to be with me.
When I say it like this, it is easy to see the lie for what it is. However, if we are in the midst of this, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of reality.
After Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, he ran for his life from Jezebel. (1 Kings 18-19) He became isolated and cried out to the Lord saying he was ready to die.
Isolation does that. It can make you feel like you should just die.
If someone has gotten to this place in their thinking and feeling, telling them to “reach out” will not help. YOU need to be proactive and reach out to others. Call your friends. Call your neighbors. Call the elderly.
It will help you to avoid the sense of isolation for yourself, and will help them to know that someone does still care.
Make a list of people and call at least one of them per day on a regular basis.
In this way, you will fulfill Matt. 25:36—I was …sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.