She clutches a balled-up tissue, staring out of the window at the empty visitors parking lot. A tear slips down her cheek.
No visitors allowed for…how long did they say? Did they mean family? I can’t remember. Will Julie bring my jellybeans and bananas and a new magazine? I’ve already read the last one. What if I run out of medicine?
How many elderly folks confined in facilities or in their homes experience loneliness, fear, and isolation while the country practices social distancing? Do they understand the current news or are they confused about why no one is coming?
Others, not so elderly, stay confined due to health concerns or fear of being in public. My heart aches for all of them.
Yet, what can we do when visits are prohibited or limited in some cases? As Christians, what responsibilities and privileges do we have in this dilemma?
Let’s look to Scripture for answers.
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.1 John 3:23
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’Matthew 25:35
How joyous our hearts will be when we reach out to those who need love and assurance! God will receive glory when we minister to others in His name.
Consider the list below for ways we can extend love while being safe during this period of social distancing. I hope you’ll add to the list in Comments.
Loving One Another During Social Distancing
Make a telephone call. Hearing a human voice will add cheer to the day. Tell the person when you plan to call back and ask the best time of day.
Call before you shop or order to determine if you can select items for someone who cannot go to stores. Add a card or treat to their bag.
- Visit through the window.
As some are doing, call from outside of the window so the dear one you’re visiting can see you while you chat. Seeing a loved one or friend is soothing to a troubled heart. If you can’t visit in person, use FaceTime if the other person is able.
- Write a letter.
Mail a card or handwritten note. Some of us maintain connections via social media, but some elderly or ill people cannot manage the technology.
- Send artwork.
Mail children’s artwork, scribbles, or letters. Tuck pictures of the children in the envelope.
- Mail a cheer-up package.
Mail or drop-off a cheer-up package. You might include a small tube of hand cream, family photos, a magazine, a large print devotional book, or candy and cookies treats. (Check dietary limitations first.)
- Send flowers.
Have flowers delivered or drop off a bouquet from your yard if possible.
- Ship a music CD.
If the person has access to a CD player, mail or ship a CD of hymns.
- Share Bible verses.
Design simple cards with Bible verses that offer comfort and the joy of the Lord. You could punch holes in them and add a ring or twist tie to hold them together. This is a perfect time to remind Christians of the Lord’s presence. It’s also an opportune time to share His love with those who don’t know Him yet as Savior.
- Illustrate and frame a verse.
If you aren’t artistic, choose an image from Pixabay or other sites that offer free pictures. Print the verse on or near the picture and place it in a frame.
How can you close the gap of social distancing for someone who is lonely or fearful by sharing the love of Jesus? Please, please, please share ideas in comments below. We can all check back during the week as the list grows.
Love one another.
Bible verses are taken from the ESV.
39 thoughts on “Love Closes the Gap of Social Distancing”
Amen Ms. Jeannie. There are so many ways we can show we care. While the physical act of touching someone can help impart many feelings and dissuade many fears, we can also endeavor to “touch their hearts” by showing we care in other ways. I love each of these examples ma’am. Thank you for today’s blessing.
You’re right, J.D., there are many ways God gives us to touch hearts. Thank you for reading, my friend.
I love this reminder, Jeannie. I will begin implementing some of these immediately!
I’m glad you found them helpful, Lori. I appreciate your comment.
You have already covered my ideas, Jeannie! Thanks for putting it all together for me. May we be fearless, but careful and sensitive during this time of social distancing to not leave anyone truly alone.
Glenda, I love your last sentence. A wise call! Thanks!
What lovely ideas! I’m trying to gather up the college girls in our small group (by gathering I mean driving separately and standing 6′ apart. 🙂 to make signs and visit local assisted living places to hold them up outside their window (for both patients and healthcare workers).
Cathy, I absolutely love your idea! Please update us on how it goes. What a wonderful way to be the feet of Jesus!
Beautiful Jeannie. This morning I prayed with a group via a conference call. Thanks for placing these ideas at our fingertips.
Marilyn, that’s a great way to share love. I’m so glad you shared!
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas, Jeannie. I think I will spend some time making cards for other church members. We are made up of mostly senior citizens, and last week we received notice that church services were being suspended until further notice. While none are hospitalized, we’re all quarantined, and we’re learning how stressful that can be.
Making cards is something I love to do and all love to receive. God has certainly given me the ability to create a smile, and there’s no time like the present to use it.
Thank you again for great ideas. Always such a blessing.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Jimmie. I appreciate your comments so much.
Those are great ideas. I need to send a happy care package soon to my loved ones.
Thank you, Deanna. I’m glad you found the idea helpful. My heart breaks for those who are isolated and unable to use technology to connect.
Jeannie, your article mirrors your sweet heart. Thank you for those wonderful suggestions, sweet cousin!
Evelyn, I’m glad you found the ideas helpful. Appreciate you!
Thank you for your tips, Jeannie. Your compassion for others shows through your writing. This is a great post to help us know how we can help others.
I’m glad you found the ideas helpful, Stephanie. I appreciate your comments.
What great ways to spread hope and cheer to someone who is lonely. Thank you for reminding us we need to remember those who cannot go out and who need extra help.
Barbara, I’m glad you found the post helpful. I love seeing social media pictures of loved ones visiting facilities by standing outside of the window while they chat via phone.
These are wonderful ideas, Jeannie. Thank you for sharing. Although it seems really obvious, for those on social media, we can send private messages via Facebook or other means. It isn’t as personal, and certainly doesn’t replace a loving card, but can still provide a bright spot of sunshine. In times such as these, technology is a blessing.
I agree, Katherine. A simple “Hi. Just checking on you” message can be encouraging. You’re right–a bright spot of sunshine.
Oh, my friend. These are such encouraging words and ideas for such a time as this. Surely God is gaining glory from this and you are loving and serving us, too.
Thank you and AMEN!
Thank you for commenting, Lisa. We all need encouragement, and with the current situation we have the privilege of serving others in many ways.
Oh sweet friend, you have covered anything I can think of. You are certainly one of God’s most precious children with such a loving heart. He always places the most encouraging words in that heart of yours. I am so uplifted with what He conveys through you. To God be the glory!!! Thank you for blessing us all.
Karen, how kind you are! As you said, “To God be the glory.”
Thanks for the creative ideas of how to reach out and love on others during this odd season.
Joanna, I appreciate your comment. I’m
glad you found the ideas helpful. Bearing one another’s burdens.
This is so necessary with such a loss of our usual connections. We have to be vigilant to find new ways to keep up with one another.
I agree. I like your use of the word vigilant in this context. God sometimes puts people on our heart so that we can meet needs.
Loved it. I shared it on Twitter and Facebook.
Thank you, Jimmie. I hope others find it helpful, too.
Simple and doable. I am going to have a card making session with the kids tomorrow.
Karisa, that’s a great idea to include your kids. Leave us a comment about how it works out. I’m sure recipients will be blessed.
Those are great ideas. Thanks for the practical list!
I’m glad you found the ideas helpful, Katy. Sometimes small acts are huge blessings to others.
Thanks so much, Marilyn!