It’s Wednesday, again! Mondays and Tuesdays I am usually fine, but come Wednesday afternoon, I am often in a funk. This confused me for quite a few weeks. After all, Wednesdays are the days that I see people face to face! I spend some time at the community Food Bank that is housed in my congregation, I run any errands and go grocery shopping if I need to. In short, I am out in the world, seeing people in the flesh rather than an image.
But one week I suddenly realized that it’s precisely the fact that I AM seeing people in the flesh that makes me depressed. It highlights how different things are. Food Bank takes place outdoors and there is no place to have a quiet chat with the clients, as they stand on an X six feet apart. No way to convey compassion and empathy except through my eyes. Dropping off a small birthday cake to a friend, sitting 6 feet away from each other on her back deck, not giving her a hug hello or good-bye. Lining up to get into the grocery store, trying to make sure I follow the arrows on the floor, and trying to convey a smile while masked and trying NOT to glare at the person behind you at the cash who is WAY too close. I didn’t realize how much I touch people in the run of a day and how not doing so impacts me.
I can’t help but wonder how people will feel when we start in person worship again? Will the physical distancing, lack of touching, lack of singing, masking etc. be more depressing than continuing to worship on-line? Many of things that make church meaningful will not be possible, at least not in the foreseeable future. What mental health challenges will emerge that we aren’t expecting?
And that’s my window on God’s world.