Breaking through the Isolation Barrier!

How we cope with being isolated from one another in the coming months will create many difficulties for us all.

Some, who are used to the quiet solitude of their homes and are very happy with their own company and thoughts may cope better than others.

Those who are far more out-going and dependent upon relating to others may well struggle.

Others, who like a mixture of both may well struggle in both ways to varying extents!

But for all of us, regardless of our personal make-up, and I don’t mean shades of lipstick or the colour of our nails, we will all have to cope with how we time our visits to the shops to see if there’s the food we want to buy actually on the shelves! Have they still got the toiletries we are used to? Are the pain killers still absent on the medication shelves? And how does one get on the waiting list for your favourite store to deliver at least some of what you need if you’re unable to get there yourself?

No doubt many of us will find it hard to come to terms over the coming months.

We do so get used to our routines, don’t we!

I guess it will take becoming more flexible to its limits for some of us! What we’ve taken for granted for so long has got to change, and some folk just can’t readily adapt to change. Others will simply be pragmatic perhaps. They’ll learn to adjust to the enforced changes to their lives. They will treat it as simply yet another transition that has to be worked through day by day until this wretched Covid-19 virus ceases to create havoc throughout the world that we have become so used to!

So how shall we cope? Should we rail at God for permitting this pandemic to afflict our world? Should we simply sit back and say: ‘Que sera, sera, what will be, will be!’ I don’t think either of those is an appropriate or effective response.

I understand that even our local district Council is trying to co-ordinate some form of voluntary community response among the many and various agencies that exist. Churches together are already starting to do this, as are the various churches as you will see if you go on-line.

But what about those who aren’t able to go on-line? What about all those elderly people who have been told to self-isolate? What about those whose medical situations have made them so much more vulnerable to this virus?

This is where we now face probably the greatest challenge to confront us.

We need one another more than ever. We need to seek ways of helping one another to cope as we do all in our power to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone else.

I’m very aware that unlike my children I don’t constantly live with a phone in my hand! But I guess I’m beginning to see how my phone, and my iPad mini can play a part in helping myself and others to help one another. I’m also indebted to those other senior citizens who frequent a table at our Tuesday Coffee Mornings - for they shared in fun, sometimes quite barmy conversations, and also their talents for poetry and other things - of a humorous nature. Those moments added together produced a God given levity that raised our spirits - it said loudly and clearly that caring and sharing was good medicine. And it reminded me of the 1950s when I awaited my father’ copy of the monthly ‘Readers Digest’ to come through our letter box - and I grabbed it to read such things as ‘Humour in Uniform’ and ‘Laughter the Best Medicine’!

So I would encourage you to utilise your God given talents and abilities as best you are able. Share them with others, who, like you, are wondering how to make the most of our enforced separation whilst we await the ‘All Clear’ to sound!

You can guarantee the new normality will create even newer routines for us to embrace in the power of the God who walks with us!

So how can you bring a ray of sunshine, laughter, the love of God and human friendship, into the lives of those you know and pray for?

May God bless us each and everyone in the days that lie ahead.

Question:

How many of you have a mobile phone ? Does it have the possibility of using something called ‘Face Time’ ? If not, can your phone handle long text messages or something like ‘Notes’ ?

If your phone is unable to cope with these things, then have you a tablet or laptop that can?

These may well be possible ways of sharing with one another, and letting God’s kingdom love and light shine in this time of darkness.

Rev. Dave Tomlin