"I have much more to say to you, but I don't want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete." 2 John 1:12 NLT
I've missed writing to y'all the past two weeks. The first week, my website was down. Thank goodness that's been fixed. Last week, I was visiting family in my home state of Ohio, getting re-connected with family. I might have scheduled a post while I was gone if it hadn't been for the website technology snafu that threw me for a loop.
Ironically, especially in these strange times, unplugging from technology helps me connect much better when I see my family face to face.
In the "Strengths Finder" personality test, one of my top five strengths is 'connectedness'. The test's intended meaning is a belief in everything being connected. I strongly believe that - especially when it comes to family. We are all connected - whether by blood, by friendship, by faith, by geography, or simply by our humanness and the fact that we are all created by one Almighty God.
Sadly, in recent months, our connections have been tenuous and stilted at best. For me, this came at a time when I need connection most. You see, my sister has stage four cancer. My mom is struggling with dementia. Another family member was diagnosed with cancer, as well as a close friend. And one of our pastors recently died at age 49, leaving behind a wife and four children.
All this at a time when we can't go church, and aren't supposed to travel or visit or hug one another. Especially at times of grief and loss, we need face-to-face connectedness.
Has personal connection been lost to technology the way we've lost the wonderful surprise of a drop in visit? When I was younger, random friends and relatives would stop by while out on a Sunday drive or just because they were in the neighborhood. My aunt would drop in on her way home from the farmers market, bringing melons or tomatoes that were too good to pass up but too much for her family to eat.
During my teens, we lived next door to my grandmother. She'd often come by while my mother cooked supper, sitting on the yellow metal stool in our kitchen - the old fashioned kind with black rubber treads on the fold out steps.
Sometimes she brought a blackberry pie, home baked from her backyard bounty, or pink dahlias from her front yard flower beds, or fresh-picked corn from her garden. Sometimes she just needed someone to talk to and my mother had a listening ear as Grandma shared whatever life had dealt her that day. She didn't stay long or even stay for supper. She'd chat for twenty minutes or so and head home.
I miss those days. I miss drop-in visits. I miss face-to-face conversation with friends and family outside my household.
As our world "reenters" and reorganizes, may each of us remember to be safe and to respect the comfort level of others. But may we also remember to connect with those we love, those next door, and those who need to see a friendly face. May we re-connect, not with paper, ink, or technology, but in person in simple and meaningful ways.