Social Distancing – Losing Touch ByD Staton
My family and I are members of a medium to large size church in Nashville. The first Sunday those services were canceled due to the COVID-19 virus, we did a live-stream only service. I was honored to be a part of that.
The musicians and pastor were the only ones present, and while the music and message went out on line, it also went out to an empty auditorium.
While it was much like a television taping, I couldn’t help but be a little sad to know that this body of believers was not able to be together, hugging, shaking hands, and encouraging each other.
There is power in physical touch. We can hear someone say they love us, read a hand-written note or email, but a hand on the shoulder or a hug brings emotion and life to what we hear and say. We need physical contact.
I read a study that was done on new-born babies. At the time of birth, half of the babies were held, touched, and nurtured, the other half had very limited human contact with their care-givers. The study referred to this as sensory deprivation.
The children who were nurtured with additional human and skin to skin contact, gained weight much faster, were much healthier, and went on to learn at a much quicker rate than those babies who were deprived of much nurturing and contact. The differences were not slight, but overwhelming.
Whether we realize it or not, we need physical touch and contact. We need to be closer than six feet from each other.
As I sang in that empty auditorium, I remembered all the times I’ve looked out at a full house, and something hit me like a ton of bricks.
In this digital age, when so many have their face buried in technology, and social media, I realized that even though they may be sitting in the pew, many are not really there. They may be physically present, but emotionally and mentally, they are socially distant.
You don’t have to be physically isolated to feel disconnected from the world around you. Have you noticed the level of depression among teenagers, and even adults in recent years? The numbers are staggering!
As we approach the end of this Coronavirus hysteria and Social Distancing, after being physically isolated and quarantined, I pray that we will be more aware of the people around us. I hope we will realize how technology has consumed us and taken us from those we should be loving and appreciating.
May we realize that a hug from someone who loves us is more gratifying than a million Facebook “likes.”
Charles Stanley once said, “Invest your time and emotions into the people who will cry at your funeral.” What wisdom!
As we consider the message of the Easter that has just passed, my prayer for all of us, is that God would roll away the stone that has kept us from seeing a world that needs to witness the resurrection power of Christ.
Let us understand that the same Spirit and power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us! That is far too important and powerful for us to disconnect from those who need to see him.
I hope that when we can be closer than six feet apart, we will embrace those we love, and feel the power of that embrace like we never have before! I hope you will in some way feel like you have been raised from the dead, full of more life and purpose than you’ve ever had before!
By David Staton
Find out more about David Staton HERE.