The other day, I was out enjoying the fresh air when somebody waved to me. Instinctively, and because I am quite polite, I waved back. Who was I waving to? I had not got a clue!
When they approached, we engaged in conversation, I discovered it was somebody I had known reasonably well for a few years. The reason why I didn’t recognize him was because, like many, he was wearing a face mask.
A few years back, I used to smile as I saw the occasional mask wearing tourist but, now everybody is doing it. It is a requirement in shops and, as from 8th August, in Church we will need to wear a face covering.
I am not against the idea. Yes, they are not the most comfortable things in the world. Yes, it makes our world look a lot like a poor Star Wars remake. Yes, it makes identifying friends a lot harder. But, if it helps to prevent the spread of COVID 19 and gets us back together again, let’s do it!
My encounter, with my mask wearing friend, made me think.
One of the things that we have all lost in the midst of the pandemic is our sense of connectedness. We all spent time in “lockdown” which isolated us from family, friends, work, Church and social normality. Some of us learnt the art of Zoom but, somehow, it isn’t the same.
Now, as masks become more the norm, we are becoming less and less connected with the people around us. Friends are harder to identify. Shop staff are harder to smile at and chat to. As people come into Church to pray in private, there feels as though there is a barrier in place and we are disconnected.
There are times when this sense of disconnect can appear in other parts of my life too.
Sometimes, I have felt an ache inside that reminds me that I am busy “doing” and not spending time “being”. I know what the Psalmist meant when he says;
My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love.
(Psalm 42 vs. 7 – The Passion Translation)
The other day, I drew aside and spent some time in the words of a Psalm which begins with the words “The Lord is my Shepherd…” The words of verse 3 spoke to me;
He restores my soul
I see these words as the promise of connection. God doesn’t want us to live disconnected from him but, connected to him.
If you have a sense of disconnect, why not spend some time in God’s presence today and ask him to restore your soul…..?