As if modern life wasn’t isolating enough, experts are telling us that in order to avoid a raging virus and to save our own health and that of others we must isolate ourselves and distance ourselves from fellow humans and their contact.
How depressing and lonely.
May we find encouragement in the nearness of God. “Yeah, Yeah,” you might say, “he is in heaven and that seems like a far off place.” This is not true. The Greek word that is at the root of the word “heaven” means “to cover” or “to encompass.” Heaven surrounds us and it is literally the air we breathe. When we pray, “Our father, who art in heaven…” we have to understand that heaven, where God is present, is in the farthest reaches of the cosmos but also near to us, as near as the particles of oxygen that we survive on.
Frederick Buechner said, “If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born both within ourselves and with the world.”
You may have to work from home but God is closer than the air you breathe. You may not be able to worship with your church family but God is closer than the air you breathe. Your favorite restaurant may be closed but God is closer than the air you breathe. You may be quarantined but God is closer than the air you breathe. You may be isolated from family and friends but God is closer than the air you breathe. Six feet of social distancing may feel like a canyon between you and others but God is closer than the air you breathe.
God is there to listen to you, to speak to you, and to be present with you. Embrace the nearness of God and draw comfort, peace, and a way to live in these isolated times.
This post was inspired by a daily reading from The Reservoir: A Spiritual Formation Devotional, Renovare, 2019.