During the time when we were instructed to 'stay at home' I started asking people:
‘Where do you catch a glimpse of God during lockdown?’
Some said in the beauty of nature, and having time to appreciate it; the peace of being unhurried for a while, enjoying family time together; for others in the care that people are showing each other, especially when things are really tough, individually and through our schools and communities.
Just before the Last Supper, when the disciples wanted to know what the end time would be like, Jesus painted a vivid picture of the separating of the sheep and the goats. I find this uncomfortable to read at first, but on closer inspection, it holds much encouragement for an outreach worker. As he sent them to the right or the left, ‘the king’ didn’t ask how often the people had read their Bible, whether they had spent a full hour over this week’s worship resources or even been faithful in prayer. You can check what he was interested in in Matthew 25, 31-46.
During this time, one issue of our local paper led on the coronavirus support group, known as the ‘angels’; people who come forward to help others who, confined indoors while isolating and shielding, are effectively prisoners in their own homes.
Where do I glimpse God during lockdown? Sitting alone in his home, anxiously hoping that someone else will be able to fetch his prescription:
‘I was in prison and you visited me . . . just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matt. 25.36