This is a really weird time, right? Stay 6 feet away from everyone. Stop hanging out with your friends and even family. Stop going places. Stay home. Stay isolated. We’re all (I hope) doing our part to kill this virus. We’re all (you better) staying away from each other. We’re all staying healthy, or trying to. It’s a bit of an oxymoron as the Bible tells us to do the opposite to stay mentally healthy. We’re supposed to have community and it says so right in Scripture. Genesis 2:18 says, “It is not good for the man to be alone” in reference to Adam. God created us to need others. The enemy wants us to suffer in isolation, so maybe we should be looking at social distancing a little differently…

The enemy’s favorite thing is to get us alone, far from God and far from others. If we are alone, he can whisper lies uninterrupted and we even start to believe them. “You’re worthless, no one understands you, no one cares about you” are common things we hear when we stop going to church, stop hanging around others, and cut ourselves off from society. It would not be shocking if these are common things you’ve been hearing the last week and a half. Some of us are locked up with our families, spouses, roommates, or maybe you’re completely alone. You don’t have the comfort of others like you used to. It is so unbelievably easy right now to let those other voices in.

That’s why I think we need to stop social distancing. This is not what God called us to do. We need to be talking with other people, it has never been more vital to do so in our history (unless you lived through World War II then dang, congrats). I am definitely not saying we should leave our houses more than just a walk or to the grocery store, or inviting other people over. We need to be listening to our government and working hard to combat COVID-19 in our country and across the world. However, it’s time for us to stop feeling isolated and start welcoming in our world digitally or one smile at a time.

Yesterday, Jon and I went on a walk and we noticed that no one wanted to look at us or other people. This isn’t unusual. It’s not rare for people to ignore you on a walk, right? This time was different. We realized how much we were simply craving a smile from a stranger. We decided halfway through the walk to start smiling at everyone we walked past, whether they decided to look at us or not. People began to smile back and for one second, we both understood the gravity of the current situation and how nice it was to smile at someone we didn’t know and receive that warmth back. Next time you go to the grocery store or talk a walk in your neighborhood, smile and say hello. God created us to interact with others and wants us to love our neighbors, a smile is priceless during this time.

We all should also be talking to one another more than ever before. Whether it’s through texts, social media, phone calls, or FaceTime, we should be talking to our friends, co-workers, and families way more than before COVID-19 reached whatever country you’re in. Take breaks from working at home to call your parents or best friends. Set up girls nights (or guy nights, if you’re out there) over FaceTime to just talk. Comment more on someone else’s Instagram stories and Facebook statuses to let them know they have a community and that someone is listening. We are literally all in this together in one form or another. Everyone is facing different challenges in isolation but we are all isolating. It’s time to quit the social distancing and keep it at “physical” distancing. Don’t let yourself walk through this alone.

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