Sheila P. Spencer

“Beloved, let us [unselfishly] [a]love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience].”  

1 John 4:7

Life has been different for us this season, and we’re doing things we’d never thought we’d do.

But what has been the same is this reason, Jesus is present and always comes through.

Even though some are sheltering in places and not physically able to be with everyone, Jesus reminds us that we can worship in different places, yet spiritually we can be one.

The church was never meant to be confined only within the four walls of a physical place. 

We, the people, are the church and designed to bring Christ’s light and inhabit every space.

Social distancing isn’t social disconnection. It invites us to come together in new ways for each other.

Let’s be more intentional to love, pray, care for, check on and be encouraging to one another.

Yes …

Life has been different for us this season, and we’re doing things we’ve never had to do

During these adjustments, we go on for this reason — Jesus is present and always comes through.

The church was never meant to be confined only within the four walls of a physical place. 

We, the people, are the church and designed to bring Christ’s light and inhabit every space.

SPS

Extend grace — Extend grace to yourself. I will repeat. Extend grace to yourself. This is new for all of us. Be kind to yourself. Extend grace to yourself and others. During a recent panel, my pastor shared during this season we need to release our Pre-COVID 19 expectations. Give yourself grace. If you create a business, a book and passion project, that’s fine. If you don’t do any of these things and learn to rest, you’re fine. 

Essential giving — We are grateful for hospital staff, grocery workers, food service, childcare workers, delivery service providers and others who go out each day. Find creative ways to be a blessing. My friend posted an invitation to those who are essential workers to share their CashApp name in the comments so she could treat them to virtual meal and invited the rest of us to do the same. Reach out to them and ask them what they need. My friend is a chaplain and his response was simply “Laugh with me. — laughter is my medicine.” Each day we are sending each other something that makes us laugh until we cry. Be an essential blessing.

Ministry of Presence – One of the most transformative experiences of my life was during my time as volunteer chaplain. I learned about the ministry of presence and intentional listening. This season has filled some with moments of grief, sadness and anxiety. Take time to listen to each other. As you take time for others, then give yourself the gift of having someone listen to you. Listening is an act of love. One of the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. The Chinese word for listen includes the symbol of ears for hearing, eyes to see, mind to think, heart to feel and undivided attention. God has also given us the gifts of counselors and therapists who can accompany us on this journey. 

Give something away — During the week leading up to Resurrection Day, instead of giving something up, we were encouraged to give something away and be a blessing each day. It continues for me. Order some groceries for someone. Since parents are now homeschooling their children longer than expected, offer to read a book online. Send an email or text or write a letter. Take time to call someone. 

The church was never meant to be confined only within the four walls of a physical place. 

We, the people, are the church and designed to bring Christ’s light and inhabit every space.

Social distancing isn’t social disconnection, it invites us to come together in new ways for each other.

Let’s be more intentional to love, pray, care for, check on and be encouraging to one another.

Blessed to be a blessing to you,

Rev. Sheila P. Spencer

Rev. Sheila P. Spencer is an author, poet, teacher and preacher.  You can contact her at CustomMadeInspiration@gmail.com and her website is www.sheilapspencer.com.

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