At the beginning of lock-down I persuaded my parents to have a Duo call with me. My mum said “peepo!” when she saw me. Last week we had a zoom church service. The first five minutes were filled with people seeing their friends and saying hi. Over and over. It was funny but also the most joyful thing I’ve seen in this dark time.
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I keep trying to think of a way, something, to replace the precious hug or handshake. I haven’t found any words that suffice. The closest thing we have is the chance to see one another. That’s more than we could have even ten years ago. So it’s awkward, clunky and slightly boring, but the chance to look into the face of someone you care about is a true gift.
I’ve been worrying about the people near and far who desperately long to be seen; the children trapped in a tiny house, trying to keep away from an abusive parent, people living alone, trying to keep themselves safe, those who are grieving with no grave, last moments or funeral to look back on, the medical staff who keep asking for more PPE and feeling no-one is hearing them, those who are far from home and unable to get a connection to speak to their loved ones. The list is endless. All we can do, all I’m trying to do, is to pray to the One who always sees and hears. We can’t reach many of the unseen, but we can pray.
Of course, those of us who have the privilege, yes, you heard me home-schoolers, of being within touching distance of our family, let’s not squander it. Hold your people close and thank God you have them.