My heart and prayers go out to those who need compassion and light. In a world already condemned, people need to hear about the healing, saving hand of Jesus who came to restore and reconcile them to God. That is our calling. That is our purpose. How can we do that while closed? How will they find the help they need unless we share Him with them? How can we open up?
I thought of a few things we can do, even while in our cage!
1. We can call and talk. It is so important to hear another voice. And when you call, don't complain and talk about the pandemic. Make your conversation upbeat and positive. Talk about happy things like new babies or weddings or a new recipe. You don't have to talk long, even five minutes of nice conversation expressed with love and concern can lift someone's day - and it will help yours, too. So make it a habit to call one person each day. And don't call the same person. Spread your love around.
2. 100 cups of coffee. My daughter used this challenge and it worked great. She made it her goal to have 100 cups of coffee throughout the year with different people. She meet them at a coffee house or invited them to her front porch, as restrictions allowed, but it kept her eyes open as she looked for another person to share coffee with. Maybe you can't do 100 cups, but set yourself a goal and see if you can't open up to more people, even over a cup of coffee. It only costs you a few bucks and an hour of your day.
3. Hallmark it! Cards are still gratefully received. Just a nice thinking of you, thank you, or a blank card with a handwritten thought can brighten someone's day and allow you to open your heart to others.
4. Zoom/Facetime it! With today's technology, there is no excuse for staying closed. And most of it comes free. I've had no end of fun these past 18 months playing a card game with my son who lives in Spain. Each Sunday evening we Facetime and play two rounds while we chat and catch up. It has helped both of us stay in contact and not feel so isolated while we interact cage to cage!
5. Get out of your comfort zone. Be brave. Get back to church, go to a shop, walk around the block. Do some commission work. Do you know what that is? It's sharing the love of Jesus. However you can do that, don't stop telling others of His love and His return. Keeping your eyes on Him and opening up the door of your cage to spread the gospel brings light and warmth to your heart.
These are five easy things you can do to open up. Let me challenge you though, if you sit waiting for others to do this for you, you have gotten the wrong end of the stick. We should all be open and doing - not waiting for others to take care of us first. Joy and comfort come from giving, not receiving. It is more blessed to give than receive. Both get a blessing, but the giver gets the bigger portion. So open up. Push aside your cage door and venture out and let your little light shine!