A few years ago, I read an article that talked of how we used to build our homes 100 years ago with big front porches, but now we build them with back yard decks.
In the time of front porches, people would sit out on them in the evening and visit with their neighbours as they walked by. It was a way to stay connected with people and keep up with what was going on in their lives.
As deck people, we have turned our back yards into beautiful retreats from the world, but in doing so risk losing connection with the people who live closest us. Privacy has become more important to us than community, and sometimes it seems the only time we catch a glimpse of our neighbours is when they back their cars out of their garages.
An interesting change I have noticed during this time of physical distancing (I prefer that term to ?social distancing?) is that people are starting to move back to their front yards. As I ride my bicycle around town it is not unusual to see neighbours sitting on their driveways in lawn chairs as they visit with people passing by, or even with those positioned in the driveway across the road! It would seem that these restrictions we are living under have helped us to recover a truth we may have mistakenly let go: we need each other!
The New Testament uses different images to describe how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ. We are called to be a family whose relationships run deep; we are called to be a body whose parts are all connected and all indispensable; we are called to love one another. Times alone with our thoughts and hearts focused on God are extremely valuable, but they are not the end game ? they are the preparation. They are only valuable if they strengthen us and move us to answer our calling in the Kingdom of God.
So, as we navigate these days of physical distancing that call us to be apart from each other, may we come to see that we need to get back to our front porches; resisting the culture?s call of privacy and isolation; embracing the call to love! Generously reaching out to those around you with your time, your resources, and your love. This is my front porch. I hope you stop by for a chat.