Posted on March 23, 2020 by Nancy Schmitt
“He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage…for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
–2 Corinthians 5:5-6a, 7
During these uncharted days of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have a responsibility to do things differently for a while—everything from how we gather in groups of less than 10, to the social distance of six feet, to the proper technique and duration of washing our hands.
One of the most loving things we can do to protect ourselves and others is to wash our hands frequently with soap and water for a duration of 20 seconds. We may have heard that 20 seconds is about the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song or say the Lord’s Prayer. We can also simply pray for a different person or group of people every time we pause to wash our hands.
Soap can keep us physically healthy as well as spiritually fed. Think of S.O.A.P. as:
S – Scripture
O – Opportunities abound
A – Ability to help
P – Pray instead of panic
Our extra time at home either by ourselves or with our families offers a wonderful time to open our Bibles and hear the promises of Scripture in a new way. The Psalms are a great place to start to hear the promises of God as well as the range of emotions that the Psalmist experienced.
Even in a time of disrupted routines and social distancing, Opportunities really do abound in the ways we can be the church as the body of Christ and help care for our neighbors. If you know someone who is ill or overwhelmed or anxious, send them a note or card; or drop off food or supplies at their doorstep. In this year of Gratitude for us at the Sun Prairie United Methodist Church, perhaps this time is an opportunity to write at least one Thank You note each day.
We all have the Ability to help in some way. Helping may be simply abiding by the imposed restrictions as a way of keeping others safe. Or it may be using a gift or talent you have to calm or help others. The Ability to help may be simply being kind or being the least anxious person in the room.
As people of faith, prayer instead of panic can change our hearts, calm our spirits, and prompt our thoughts as we invite God’s presence and strength to be with us. God will use this time for good.
In these continued days of Lent and continued days of living in ways we never thought we would, may we pray for God’s peace that surpasses understanding and may God use us to be instruments of that peace to a needy world.