Acts 2:42 (NRSVA)
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
I am a true extrovert, receiving my energy from my interactions with other people. So, I struggled big-time at the start of the lockdown, no longer able to mix with other people and exchange energy. Isolated, I was so flat, unable to restore my spirits in my usual way. As each day passed I found myself sinking further, losing my joy, becoming paranoid and increasingly frightened for the future. Feeling cut off and desperate to connect I tried to express how I was feeling to some friends but instead of being supportive they made me feel that I was unchristian by expressing my fear.
But I was able to find myself, and my joy, again, by adapting to only seeing people on screen, interacting with our online community, sharing God’s Word, conversation, prayer and most importantly our authentic selves.
It is easy to lack authenticity online, to project the story that portrays any given situation in the best light. Today I read a tragic story of a young single mum who took her own life after struggling with the isolation of the lockdown. She was desperate to connect with people experiencing the same struggles as she was but all she could see when she went online was people posting photos that reflected happy family life, leaving her feeling even more inadequate.
True fellowship comes in being to be ourselves completely. And that means sharing our fears and our doubts. The courage to do this make the world of difference to someone’s life.
You love each of us, just as we are
You know our fears and our doubts, and you still love us.
Give us the courage to share our whole selves with each other
And to accept each other exactly as we are, loving and supporting each other in the good and bad times.
INVITATION: Today I ask you to be fully authentic. Take a photo of yourself or a photo of something that expresses how you are really feeling today and share with a friend.