Wow. We’re deep into “Shelter In Place” right now. Things have gotten real…and real fast.
I’ve noticed something interesting as we continue to minister to students(online, of course). At our Monday Night Worship Online, we had a chat feature for students. We were trying some new tech out and like has been the case for lots of ministries, it didn’t all work smoothly. We ended up having to switch to a different platform to make it work. But before we switched, in a really short amount of time, we noticed that the chat wall was FULL of students saying “hi”, checking in with each other and just generally being excited to share the same space. Just a couple days later, we heard our student leaders share that CSF Online Small Groups were also really well attended. They just want to be together!
It has gotten me thinking that in the midst of isolation, the value of being known and seen is so powerful.
I was reading in Genesis 16 where Hagar flees from Abram’s house after being mistreated. Isolated from her support system, community, all while in the midst of a pregnancy, she is met by an angel. God guides her to return and encourages her about the son she’ll have. Her response is fitting:
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Throughout scripture we see accounts of God connecting directly with his people. In the New Testament, we discover that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, total access is granted to us. Hebrews 10:19-22 assures us that by grace, we can draw near to God. He is here. We are never alone.
In this time of distancing, isolation and the resultant intense loneliness, the good news that God sees just might land differently than ever before. I wonder if we as the Body of Christ could spend time today reflecting on this truth for ourselves. Then, let’s pray for each other, and especially those feeling the acute impact of isolation. Pray for them to encounter God who sees them…our God who loves them and is present with them. Perhaps there may even be an opportunity for us to be what God uses to reach them.
David Lasley, Christian Student Fellowship at UIS and LLCC