Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Love in a global pandemic

   The world needs love. 
   I give a copy of Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages as one of two books for study to every couple preparing for marriage with whom I meet. I've been doing this for nearly twenty years, and the truths he offers in it are still being received with sincere delight by a second generation of couples. He proposes that each person is built the same: to be loved. However, each person receives and experiences love in one of five broad ways, or languages: quality time, physical touch, acts of service, giving & receiving gifts, and words of affirmation.
   Earlier this week, as our staff was talking through how we could extend the love of Jesus out to our congregation and to our community, in particular to healthcare workers, we came to the realization that expressing love through the first two of these languages is essentially taken away during this global pandemic. Quality time and appropriate physical touch are not safe, outside of the relationships we have at home.
   For our staff, it meant more brainstorming of ideas on how to care and keep people safe. For our homes, it makes me think that it is even more critical now that we express love to each other in this upside season. Everyone is off their routine and that includes some of the places and relationships from whom we receive love.
   The world needs love. And Christians are called to provide it, through the abundance of the love we have received from God. John 13:34 says, "I give you a new commandment: Love each other." 
   Grace and peace, Scott

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