A Hunger for Relationship

     Living through Covid-19 continues to make me aware that I miss many of the luxuries I took for granted. I miss meeting friends for coffee and/or meals. I am sad that many of the traditional activities that announce a new season (The State Fair, Balloon Fiesta, to name a couple) will not occur this Fall. I feel like my biological clock received a horrible jolt, and I cannot get back into a steady rhythm. When will this darkness end? I look to the heavens and say, “Even so Lord Jesus, quickly come!”

     As I reflect on these things, I realize that while I miss the things in life, what I long for is connection. I am a part of a clergy group that meets one day a month. It is a great group that serves as a safe space to reconnect with dear friends and to replenish our hearts and souls. Since the pandemic, we continue to meet by holding Zoom conversations. Each of us remains safe, but still, connect in the privacy of our own homes.

     I look forward to these times with dear friends, but it does not replace patting a shoulder or be swept away by the energy of the group. Online interactions do not allow for the most sacred of all human needs, a touch to remind us of our connectedness. In the spirit of the great Jewish theologian, Martin Buber would say, “I need to experience the ‘You’ and not the ‘It.’” Our need for a relationship is at the core of our restlessness.

     Hopefully, we may recover from this horrible time in our nation’s history and renew our ties with loved ones in ways that leave us breathless. Kindness must rule the day and love for our neighbor, not as an It but as a You, must mandate our reactions to the chaos of disease and brokenness. In other words, let us love well, sharing the true riches of our faith. Love one another, not as an object, but as a person. This radical approach to living with one another is a directive given by the One, who continues to love us with His whole being.

Published by joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Belen in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe, I understand the lack of connection that this pandemic has brought us. I am sure there is something positive that will come of it but I am not sure what it will be.

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