Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him
- Colossians 2:6 (ESV)
This time has certainly been unique for all of us. The fear, anxiety, and stress that we feel from being in the midst of a pandemic is something I do not believe anyone of us could have truly imagined a month ago. But here we are in a world that we couldn’t imagine with little hope that it is going to end any time soon. If that’s not stressful, I cannot imagine what is.
One of the things that I have done to deal with stress and anxiety is to run. It is my favorite thing to do in the world. One of my foolproof plans to deal with the anxiety of these times was to ramp up running in ways that I had always wanted to. Then something happened…I strained my right calf. Which means that running has become almost nonexistent to me. Last week, sensing my anxiety over all things, my wife asked me to do something: walk with her. This isn’t something new she has taken up, Ellen has always gone walking when I go running. But for us to do this together? I scoffed at first, but as the days continued on I finally took her up on her invitation. And it is in these walks that I have seen something amazing: I’ve seen God in action!
I have seen neighbors that I didn’t know were my neighbors. I have had conversations (all inside the bounds of safe social distancing) with church members I never would have had if the world was “normal”. I have met business owners who are trying to adjust in this time of chaos. I have met people who have visited Covenant but have never had a chance to talk to me. I have met all types of people: young and old, friends and strangers. I have walked, and in all of these times I have seen God at work like never before. With each conversation, I have seen hope, I have seen resilience, I have seen smiles, I have seen joy, I have seen love.
It makes me wonder…would I have even stopped to say hello a month ago? Would I have gotten to know my neighbors unless I was forced to? Have I been preaching “church” for so long that I had forgotten what the true church is?
Think about all of the people that Jesus met. How many of those were inside a building? The answer is very few. Instead, Jesus walked to meet people, or people walked to meet Jesus. And in those walks, lives were connected, empowered, and transformed.
Connection was one of Jesus’s strongest gifts He gave people. It is a gift that I am now seeing being played out in my neighborhood as well as neighborhoods around the world. Yes, this is a scary time but this is a time to embrace the fact that our world needs us to be walking and showing love now more than ever. If we continue to walk, to connect, to reach out, and to love, imagine how strong we are going to be as humanity when the world returns to “normal”!
Is this a scary time? It absolutely is. But know that not only Christ walks with you, you can show Christ’s love in a wonderful and new way. This is the perfect time for us to redefine what church truly is. So now, if you will excuse me, I have a walk to get to….may God continue to bless you as you walk with God, and as you walk this amazing world we live in!