Love, laughter, and prayer are important salves for these times. This week, the topic is love.
Articles by experts on the internet explain that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, causing problems much worse than the sickness itself. The reaction to the pandemic has created a social, economic, and emotional pandemic which manifests itself as fear, depression, discouragement, isolation, insecurity and the loss of previous coping skills, to name a few.
But, like laughter, that heals and restores the soul, love is another force that we might consider as a deterrent and comfort.
Knowing that love of God, through Christ, is important because we know that we are not in this situation alone, and that there is a greater force and power than us who are scurrying around like little ants in a sand pile.
What does that mean? Certainly, love comes from God, and we can be receivers of that love ... but are we “givers” of love? Do we tap into that love and act on it whether we feel like it or not?
If ever we needed to act out love, and to serve others, it’s now. Let’s take the challenge, shall we?
Here are some practical applications of love that we can purposely decide to employ.
1. Smile, and greet with a cheerful voice, even when masked. This society is gradually becoming unsocial, and avoiding each other. We are not that people. We are still a society of interpersonal relationships, so don’t give that up when in public.
2. Think and say kind words. Get out of the “me” mode, thinking only of what you have to do, or how you feel. Emit some encouraging words. Call a friend or acquaintance on the phone or text them a message of encouragement. Don’t turn the conversation to yourself. Serving others helps you to curb your own defeating self-thoughts.
3. Think before you speak. Try to imagine what that other person or persons are processing in their mind. Fear? Distress? Anxiety? Worry? We are a people who need other people. Don’t give in to avoidance and isolation, but step into purposeful intervention. It will show the very love you want to share.
4. Try the “pay it forward” model. Pay it forward is an expression for when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else, rather than simply accepting or repaying the original good deed. Going to a fast food restaurant, you might say, pay for another’s meal.
5. Share. Bring a cooked meal to a friend, neighbor or even an enemy! That will confuse them! But it will lift their spirits and yours as well. Share your garden, whether veggies or flowers.
6. I know we are admonished not to have contact, and there are public times when we avoid such contact, like shaking hands. However, I still hug those who I know need it. Fine. Carry wipes. Turn your head. But, hug anyway. Some of you won’t. It’s o.k. But many need hugs. Their “pandemic” is needing a hug. Yes. I know. I need 20 lashes.
7. “Fake it ‘till you make it,” they say. It’s a giving exercise we are suggesting, and not a “what’s in it for me?” exercise.
Let me know how this works out for you. I will do the same. And have a joyous week!
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or juditabler@awomansview.