(image courtesy of pinterest)
As we continue to face the challenges and changes the corona virus outbreak is having on all of us, I have also discovered a few silver linings in my daily life.
One of these is the on-going discovery of people I do not know who live in my neighborhood. As you may recall, Faithful Reader, I have worked primarily out of our home for the last 3 and a half years. On any given day, I will take two or three long walks with our Golden Doodle, Violet (my computer would not let me use any of my own pictures of her, but this photo from pinterest is strikingly close to what she looks like).
Previously, these walks have been completed almost exclusively without seeing anyone to speak to. Over these past few days, that is no longer the case! Parents prevented from going to their workplaces are outside at times they never were before. Many, like me, are on potty runs for their dogs.
The pastor in me tries to take these meetings as opportunities to share hope. Having Violet along has certainly made conversations easy to start. Almost everyone is taken by her soft coat, soulful eyes and goofy personality. As we share info on our different pooches, the talk invariably comes around to the current circumstances that have led us to meet.
I am not now, never been, and probably never will be a very successful evangelist. I don’t have the gift of gab, if you will, that allows words to smoothly and cohesively flow from my mouth. No, my strength seems to be more in the walking out of my faith. This, I have been told, is most evident in my peaceful demeanor. “You are easy to talk to,” and, “thanks for listening” are things I hear quite often.
So it is with those gifts that I engage my new-found neighbors in conversation. By asking what their ‘normal’ was before this all started, I can begin to get the sense of what is most troubling them in these days. Invariably, they will then ask me the same question to which I reply that my routine is pretty much as it was. I then offer to tell them about our home-based ministry and some of the care we bring to our community. As I do, I extend the invitation to them as well by asking if there is a specific area of concern for which I can be praying for them. I gladly tell them of the resources we have available that may be of some help.
I share this with you today as an encouragement to take the new opportunities that are presented to you through this radical shift in your day to day life. I understand the fear and uncertainty you may be experiencing, but my encouragement is that you not let them dominate your life. In the midst of being careful and making preparations for the days to come, please stay aware of the people who have now appeared on your radar. Please don’t be afraid to lend a listening ear or offer to help if appropriate.
Together, we will get through this. Just ask Violet, she has heard me encourage quite a few of this recently.
Blessings and thanks for taking the time to read this,