The legacy of the pandemic of 2020 remains to be seen.
The deepest wounds from this worldwide blight are lost lives, but the post-pandemic societal stains may arrive later. Just as wars and trauma afflict us with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this catastrophic event left its mark. The new buzz word, social distancing, may have long-lasting effects on how we relate to one another. Before the pandemic, we didn't know our neighbors. During the pandemic, we took an additional step away from each other.
Churches were challenged with balancing the loving community of God's family and the safety of social distancing. I cannot remember a time when I did not greet a friend or stranger with a firm, warm handshake. Many of us are huggers. We share a warm embrace in times of joy, sorrow, or special recognition.
Some still practice the holy kiss Paul speaks about. Before the pandemic isolation, a good friend kissed my cheek. I will never forget it. In that moment, time stopped, and I could feel a blessing ripple through my soul. I experienced thanksgiving, love, care, and unconditional acceptance all at once. Every time I am in the presence of this godly man, I recall when he gently cradled my head in his hands and kissed my forehead. The memory always brings humble tears.
Some question whether we will heal from this pandemic or whether the fear of suffering will keep us apart for a generation. The church has always had an opportunity to show the world Christ's love, and we still have that opportunity.
I am not suggesting we be reckless and unsafe but rather find ways to take the lead in healing a world that has been wounded by a pandemic. The God who is within us can lead us in overcoming this tragedy.
We may lose the holy kiss, but our love from God can still overflow to those we serve. Why not let yours?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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John Zimmer has been married to Paula for almost forty-seven years and has three children and four grandchildren. A graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, John has been a life-long music and worship leader in churches in Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio. His passion is thoughtful and passionate congregational worship leadership. He writes a weekly blog, "Words from the Friar," which is an insightful look at corporate worship, or what he calls, faith-family worship. His emphasis is reconnecting a congregation to a unifying worship time that works regardless of worship style or resources. His writings reflect a creative and fresh look at Christian worship.