Who of us ever heard the phrase “social distancing” prior to the Covid-19 pandemic? And yet, here we are — each of us suddenly very familiar with it.

We need to be. Isolating ourselves and keeping appropriate distance, as well as taking proper precautions— wearing masks when advised and practicing good hand-washing, for example — are key to kicking this virus to the curb. Adhering to such guidelines truly is the make-or-break of its spread.

Among other things, Covid-19 has caused schools to close — students participating in distance learning instead of the typical classroom instruction; teachers having to expand their own knowledge with regard to technology and the many opportunities it affords; and cafeteria workers and bus drivers diligently striving to deliver meals to Haywood County children daily.

And parents? We’re suddenly thrown headlong into homeschooling, all the while perhaps anxious about how to balance life — both at home and with regard to work, that bills might get paid and the plethora of other needs might still get met.

After all, though we’re ironically being called to separate ourselves, this virus isn’t occurring in a vacuum. Life continues, and we’re each being forced to figure out how to live within the boundaries of this new normal.

It’s overwhelming, is it not — this anxiety? And anxiety often breeds fear, and fear then holds us captive —knocking us incapable. Paralyzed rather than productive. Stationary rather than soldiering on, that we might make a difference. Shine light.

Though this may seem like a dark season, it’s a season rich with opportunity, and there are many choosing to rise above their fears — working round the clock to offer help.

In our small community alone, people have rallied to create additional assistance programs and resource sites. As a result, food pantries are being stocked. Shopping is being done for those who are homebound. Good Samaritans are coming to the aid of others in unique, creative ways — giving generously to small businesses who are feeling the hit economically; offering tutoring for students in need of extra educational instruction; making doorstep deliveries anonymously.

Truth is, even though we’re social distancing, we’re coming together as a community — a solidarity that goes beyond politics and personal differences, bound together in one thing: Love.

As God’s children, listen to Him. Jesus speaks His message to our hearts. “Love one another” (John 13:34).

There’s no social distancing where Jesus is concerned. He calls His children to come to Him daily. Crawl up onto His lap and snuggle in. Listen to what He has to say — as He directs the details of our lives in the moments that lay before us.

He speaks to us in prayer and through His Word, but He also speaks to us through others — perhaps sounding a lot like a teacher, a health care provider, or a neighbor.

Can you hear Him?

He’s calling us out of fear. His resounding message even while we’re being steadfast in our distancing: Love one another.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” (I John 4:18—NIV).

Maureen Miller is a wife and mother who finds joy in blogging regularly at www.penningpansies.com. Miller invites readers to check out ‘Haywood County Coronavirus Community Assistance’ on Facebook for more ways to help.

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