This is the question I’m pondering on daily! I appreciate how the Queen’s speech, and this article stirs us to compassion without being patronising or inappropriate with our language.
For me personally, at a local level, I’m constantly asking God how I can reach my neighbours with compassion that meets them where they are at. I hear about people openly struggling with anxiety and fear, but the people around us haven’t expressed this yet. Honestly, I’d say I’m surrounded by hardy couples and families who, in normal life, demonstrate a resilience, an independence and a stoic attitude to much in life. None of them know God, so how can I point them to the hope of nations when they haven’t yet articulated they are looking for him? What gestures or language do I use that they don’t push back from?
I imagine they don’t let on with their deepest fears. My approach so far is to reach out to them in a casual sort of way (gifts of Easter biscuits and Easter cards etc) so that if ever they come to the point of being unable to ignore fear, they will feel comfortable reaching out to us. My hope is that if we’ve already offered an arm of love and consideration out to them, they will have no problem in reaching out to us in a darker moment. Im sure we will come to a time when their outer appearances of self sufficiency won’t hold and their true feelings, thoughts and fears come to the surface. My heart is ready to openly share Jesus when that time comes. Until that time, I shall share Jesus just by being present.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you Deuteronomy 31:6
Even when we don’t feel him, he’s present. I believe this is how i can start to demonstrate Christ as our hope in this particular situation. Where we have to maintain physical distance, I’m learning to find new ways of being emotionally present with people.