Look for small doors that the Holy Spirit opens to share your faith
Our family loves Miss Bobbi. For the past six years, when we’re outside, inevitably, Miss Bobbi ventures across the street for three huge kid hugs and the latest neighborhood news. She’s a gift to our family, and I believe we are a blessing to her too. Recently, these exchanges have looked and felt different. Air hugs have replaced real hugs, COVID-19 has trumped sports discussions, and a relationship that once complemented other familial bonds has turned into a relational lifeline.
In a season of quarantine, uncertainty, social distance and fear, how are disciples called to respond? In particular, what does it look like to grow and go during this unprecedented time? I think it’s focusing on the basics. All growth and all evangelization start with authentic love. The expansion of our ability to love is critical for us to have any chance of making disciples during a time of isolation.
Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus tells us that others will know we are his if we love each other — not on our terms, but based on his example. So how did Jesus love? He wept with those who were mourning (Martha and Mary). He extended healing and forgiveness (through his miracles). He made wine (the Wedding at Cana). He spoke the truth even it was rejected or hard to hear. (Jn 6). Ultimately, he laid down his life for his friends.
Who are you being called to weep with? Who should you forgive? Who needs a prayer for healing? Who can you provide for? Who needs to hear the truth in love? Whose life should you put before your own?
The Holy Spirit will inspire us if we ask these questions, he will give us the wisdom to know how to respond and the strength to see it through. While we must take advantage of this time to grow closer to Jesus and detach from many of the things that distract us, we cannot pause our missionary activity. Evangelization is vitally important, because Christianity’s bold claims about life, death and salvation shine brightest when things are darkest. Let’s commit ourselves to loving heroically both in and out of our homes. Let’s be looking for small doors the Holy Spirit opens to share the source of our joy and the freedom of Christ’s Lordship.
The world needs us. Miss Bobbi needs us, even if all we can offer, right now, is a smile and three massive air hugs.