My wife, Lois, bought groceries today. Normally, that would not be headline news or something I felt necessary to share with you. Today, however, she did not go to the grocery store, wander about the aisles, shopping list in hand, chatting with neighbours and generally doing a normal, everyday thing. No, today Lois bought groceries by ordering and paying for them online, going to the store, and then having them loaded into her minivan. This is the new reality of physical isolation. Thanks to the need for us to remain well separated, Foodland, our local grocery store will take your order online and load into your vehicle so that you don’t have to go inside where there might be other people in close proximity.
Both local hardware stores are still open. Business as usual, since they are an essential service. However, one is enforcing social distancing by having people wait outside, safely separated, so as not to overcrowd the aisles. The other is only letting people order from outside, or online, and loading their vehicles for them, minimizing exposure to other humans.
Things are clearly very different right now. The freedom of movement and social interaction we enjoyed are severely limited. Our mutual safety and well-being are of primary concern and so we must take extraordinary measures in response.
Yet for all the difference we are experiencing right now, what matters the most has not changed. We are maintaining physical distancing out of the same love that existed before the term “COVID-19” was coined. We continue to help one another, to keep in touch with one another and even engage in simple social interactions, even if it’s simply chatting loudly with our neighbours from the safety of our respective porches. And, of course, we continue to complain when things are bad and we are still trying figure out the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
While things are different, it’s important to hold on to those things that underlie a meaningful life, and maybe practice them a little more diligently and with a greater focus on the greater good. Now, more than ever, we should keep God’s love in the forefront, embracing it for our own support, and giving it away without restriction for the good of others. Now, more than ever, we should be good and faithful servants, honouring all that Jesus did and modelled for us.
My wife, Lois, bought groceries today. She did it differently from the way she has done it before, but she still got the job done. Thanks to the caring staff at our local Foodland, she was able to do it safely and enjoyably.
Today, we will do many things differently from the way we have normally done them, but that doesn’t mean we should stop doing them in a way that reflects God’s love for us, and our love for others.