Social distancing. Who knew that these two little words would have such a huge impact on our lives? Hearing this phrase over and over and hearing how people are doing it (or not) has gotten me thinking about social distancing and our relationship with the Lord.
Do we or have we been practicing social distancing with God? I think it’s pretty normal to have ebbs and flows in relationships, even the one we have with God. When we’re younger, it’s probably considered “uncool” to have a relationship with God, especially if you don’t go to Catholic school. And when we get older, we have busy, often hectic lives so it can be hard to nurture that relationship. Personally, I think God understands this. He gets it. And He doesn’t turn His back if and when we want to return to Him after we’ve taken a break.
In today’s language, God never practices social distancing. He could if He wanted to. He could and would if He was a quid pro quo God, who chose to treat us as we sometimes treat Him, inadvertently or not. Fortunately, social distancing is not the Lord’s way. These days, He’d be in really BIG trouble with Dr. Fauci — God simply can’t do it. He loves us way too much for that. He is with us — closer than six feet — all the time, whether we are in the midst of a pandemic or things are calm and peaceful and “normal.”
When I was a child and even as a young adult, I thought of God as “out there”; a distant observer. I figured that He had so much to do and so many people to take care of that this was the only way to do it. He needed to stay “out there” (and maybe even a bit remote) so He could do all He needed to do. Social distancing, rather than intimacy, was His preferred modus operandi. Made sense to me.
Thankfully, quite the opposite is true. God loves and yearns for intimacy with each and every one of us — no distance wanted or needed. So in this uneasy time, let’s go to the One that can’t, won’t and doesn’t practice social distancing. Ever.
We each have a place safely wrapped in the Lord’s arms. Let’s enjoy that; let’s revel in it. Our God definitely moves with the times and will use every current event, language and mode of communication to reach us. But in this instance, He’s breaking with the phrase of the day. And similar to that line in the film A League of Their Own, “there’s no crying in baseball,” there’s no social distancing with God :-).