We have a rabbit situation in our backyard.
A few weeks ago we noticed four rabbits cavorting in our backyard every evening. We sat in our dining room and watched as they did acrobatics over each other. Wonderful quarantine entertainment!
Turns out all that leaping about is a mating ritual. Who knew?
A few days ago, our dog discovered a nest of baby bunnies snuggled into the pachysandra under a pine tree. Before I could catch him, Ringo had one in his mouth. I shouted at him, grabbed him, and forced him to let go of the tiny animal.
What should I do? I finally opted to leave the almost-bald creature with petite, well-formed ears and unopened eyes lying in the grass alone, hoping his mama would find him and nurture him back to health. Sigh!
So hard to know what to do for backyard bunnies, but I find it even harder these days to know what to do about real-life connections as restrictions begin to ease.
- Can we actually get together in our yards now? How close can we sit? Should we wear masks? Should we share food?
- Should we say something if we see large gatherings of people? And how large is large?
- When can we safely travel out of state?
- What if people we know and love refuse to wear a mask?
- What if people we know and love feel nervous about getting together? What should we say/do?
As an introvert, I’ve so enjoyed this long stretch of quiet. I’ve found ways to stay connected to friends and even learned to embrace phone calls. Really! But I do long for face-to-face tea times, and I even dreamed about outlet shopping with a friend. I don’t want to let fear win and keep me from seeing friends again.
I just don’t know when or how yet.
At the moment I’m mulling over some words written by the Apostle Paul about a situation in the church at Rome that involved people clinging to different sets of rules for living as Christ-followers. Although this group of people didn’t bicker over wearing masks or social distancing, they did struggle with trying to live well among people with vastly different opinions. Paul advised:
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.(Romans 14:1-3, NLT)
Interesting! Getting along with people, even people who share the same faith, has always presented challenges and always will, no doubt.
So . . . we could decide to remain tucked away at home (an introvert’s dream) and avoid challenging interactions with people who have a different take on how to emerge from quarantine. Or we could gather our resolve and step into the peopled world, committed to asking good questions and responding with empathy, trying to put ourselves in another’s shoes.
- How do you feel about getting together now?
- What do you think about bringing your own sandwich and beverage and lawn chair and sitting outside?
- What would you think if I wore (or didn’t wear) a mask?
As always, I’d love to hear from you. How are you navigating reconnection? Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda W.June 1, 2020 at 9:18 pm
I am prayerfully considering the questions you asked in this post, Afton. I have seen a small group of people (under ten). But my church is still meeting online for the foreseeable future.
aftonJune 1, 2020 at 9:56 pm
Thanks for reading and considering, Linda! Glad you have a small group. I wonder if that will be the shape of church moving forward.