So Close, Yet So Far Away

Posted by Tim LaTour on

In His last hours with His disciples, Jesus gave them one final command for them to follow: to “love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Loving our neighbours these days feels a little different than before. A global pandemic has swept across the Earth and everything has changed. Work meetings have become emails or video calls. Restaurants have changed seating, or closed completely. Even karaoke has been halted for the foreseeable future. And of course, our church has been unable to meet in person for over a month.

How can I love my neighbour if I can’t even be around my neighbour?!

What’s interesting is that while this has changed the way we physically interact with people, the human connection is still very much there. I have had more phone (voice) conversations in the last month than I have in the last 10 years. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s highlighting a truth in our new reality: people need people and our technology is letting that continue.

Underneath all of this is the deep longing we all have for connection. We all feel this desire to be together, and even the limitations of physical space can’t stop us. Humans long to be in community. There is this invisible, spiritual connection that is like gravitational pull we have towards one another. We can’t see it, but we definitely feel it. 

I have a friend who went “stir-crazy” from being stuck at home the other night. How do I know? I checked Facebook and I had over 20 notifications from him. He had gone to different friends’ pages and started commenting, tagging, and liking all kinds of posts. This started a chain reaction where multiple people were now involved. All of that activity culminated in a Zoom call with 24 participants - some of those whom I haven’t seen in 25-30 years - that has now become a weekly gathering.

Because of one guy.

He was longing for connection.

He wanted to love his neighbours. How? By just talking. Catching up. Asking questions. It’s so simple.

So in this unprecedented time, we can love our neighbours well like this:

Distance socially, but connect spiritually. 

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God… in whom you also are built together spiritually (in the Spirit) into a dwelling place for God.” (Ephesians 2:22)



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