I always wonder which latte to try when I walk into this sweet little place here in the south, because truth be told, I no longer laugh at coffee snobs.
I’ve kinda sorta joined them, instead. Just a little.
Today, it’s a Creme Brulee’ with my friend from back west. Seeing her is laughter, love, and goodness all wrapped up in one human package. She sings her heart out and cries over the goodness of God, makes fun of my food, prays with me, and shares wine over heart to heart talks.
For crying aloud, why did I leave so many good people to rebuild community in a brand new place?
Many of us move for various reasons, but the important thing is that we all recognize our need for community and are available to be community as well.
The addict on the street corner likely started using out of a soul lack for connection, first with God, then with others.
The depressed friend you have needs connection more than she needs someone to quote one more verse on joy. Connection with God, then with others.
The teen who is constantly on his phone isn’t wanting to be lethargic or lazy–he’s wanting connection, too, and doesn’t realize that his phone will drive him to loneliness and keep him from the kind of human interaction he needs most of all.
Even God has relationship. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are in constant, uninterrupted communion with each other. Even Jesus had twelve disciples with Him during His time on earth. He calls us to love each other, cover each other, and be here for each other.
Today is a new day with old problems we’ve long wished away. Covid-19 convinces people to isolate, shut down gatherings, and stay alone, more afraid of possible germs than of suicide rates that are increasing, homes that are breaking, and children who are showing up in increasing numbers with bruises covering their bodies.
Along with concern on how to handle this virus, we need to raise just as much concern on how to handle the loneliness a lockdown brings. I don’t want to hear of one more suicide, ten more addictions, or another divorce.
As Jerry Flowers says, “Don’t be so afraid of the fire that you die from the smoke.”
Friends, people are dying in increasing numbers, and not just from Covid.
I call on all of us to raise awareness on the affects of loneliness (which is one of the most unhealthy things a human can experience), and to be a cause, a channel for connection.
Who can you connect today? Who will you love today, and how will you do it practically?
Rather than saying, “Call me if you need anything”, let’s just show up at a doorstep with flowers or food. Let’s send a gift or write a note. Let’s take a friend out to coffee.
Let’s even ask God to lead us to complete strangers who may need something only God knows about. Because what if YOU could be the one to keep someone from contemplating a dark death?
If suicide rates are going up, love should be rising even higher.
If child abuse is sky rocketing (and it is), so should the amount of adults who are there for neighborhood children, children at school, and children from broken homes who want to medicate pain with more pain.
Let all of them encounter LOVE, instead.