During the pandemic, with orders to shelter in place and reports of increasing numbers of confirmed virus cases, many people feel lonely, isolated and afraid.
Turning to Scripture has been comforting. I am using my phone to make calls and texts to stay connected. But what many people like me are missing is face-to-face contact. Not all communication translates perfectly via text, email or phone in the absence of non-verbal expressions.
On Tuesday evenings, I meet with a group of women to study Scripture with our leader, Jane Ann Crowson. Our group is unique, with participants in their early 30s raising young children to others in their late 80s. We are ethnically and economically diverse as well. Despite our differences, we “click” in a way that is rare and special. I have commented often that our group reminds me of what heaven will someday look like.
When the voluntary shelter in place directive was first announced in Texas, Jane Ann made the decision to cancel Bible study. As the situation escalated, though, it became clear we would not be able to gather for the foreseeable future. We made the decision to attempt to meet by Zoom video conferencing.
Many in the group were hesitant … even reluctant. But not my friend Lee, who is a resident of Buckner Westminster Place. Lee sent me a couple of texts asking for clarification about how to participle via Zoom. We decided we would have a trial run one hour before the study started. I was at my laptop and Lee was on her smart phone and after a couple of minutes we were connected. It was great to see Lee’s smile!
That evening we had 12 members participate by video. We laughed about our pictures on the screens looking like the opening of the Brady Bunch. We have been working through Hebrews and, for one reason or another, had not finished.
So, during our first Zoom meeting we studied Hebrews 13. We marveled at God’s timing for this Scripture. We were reminded to keep loving one another. Verse 5 warned us to not worry about money. The Lord promises: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
He is aware of the plummeting stock market and he’s not going anywhere, he’s in this with us! In verse 6 we are instructed to say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.” Verse 16 reminds us to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. The entire chapter resonated with exactly what our world was and is experiencing.
While I am eager to gather again in person in Jane Ann’s cozy living room, for now, I’ll fellowship with my Tuesday evening Bible study via video conferencing.
Written by Kim Wright, gift officer for Buckner in Northeast Texas.