WHAT IS LOVE?

#love#patience#forgiveness#mercy

ISOLATION KILLS

We are now completing a full

year of having our lives turned

upside down. We wear masks,

avoid contact with people, and

generally stay away from the

places we formerly frequented.

While most everyone feels these are necessary safety measures, there is a downside of which many are unaware.

Humans are social beings and isolation is a killer.

ISOLATION is a KILLER

We are no longer allowed to gather in large groups. Some of our favorite eating spots have closed. The elderly are no longer able to meet at their local Senior Center, which means many of them have no social interaction at all through the week.

These cracks in our regular social life can have a negative effect on our psyche if we are not careful.

We can begin to feel left out, unwanted, like we don’t belong. What little time we do get together at church or at a restaurant or even a chance meeting in the grocery store is now handled differently.

Gone are the friendly handshakes and hugs. Gone is the lengthy time spent talking while the world moves around us.

Some of us are in ZOOM meetings two, maybe three times a week, but that does not fill the social need—it may just keep something at bay. Many are beginning to suffer from ZOOM fatigue.

This vacancy in our life begins to get magnified in our mind. We begin to feel like we NEVER get to see anyone.

Pretty soon that translates into NOBODY wants to be with me.

When I say it like this, it is easy to see the lie for what it is. However, if we are in the midst of this, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of reality.

After Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, he ran for his life from Jezebel. (1 Kings 18-19) He became isolated and cried out to the Lord saying he was ready to die.

Isolation does that. It can make you feel like you should just die.

If someone has gotten to this place in their thinking and feeling, telling them to “reach out” will not help. YOU need to be proactive and reach out to others. Call your friends. Call your neighbors. Call the elderly.

It will help you to avoid the sense of isolation for yourself, and will help them to know that someone does still care.

Make a list of people and call at least one of them per day on a regular basis.

In this way, you will fulfill Matt. 25:36—I was …sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.

HAMAN THE HANGMAN

In the Book of Esther, chapters 3-7, we learn of Haman and his attempt to annihilate the Jews. Mordecai, a Jew who maintained his integrity in the face of unjust laws, was especially hated by Haman.

Through a series of events Haman, expecting to be honored by the king, ended up having to honor Mordecai instead, which only added to Haman’s fury. In his anger, he decided to have a gallows built upon which to hang Mordecai.

All of Haman’s plans and machinations came unraveled, however, and he found himself swinging from the end of the rope instead of Mordecai.

We’ve all heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” This is a western person’ way of saying ‘karma.’ The word karma is not found in the Bible, but the concept is.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Gal 6:7)

Haman sowed his anger into the king’s mind and reaped the king’s anger upon his own head.

We are faced with much the same situation in our own nation today. There are those in the halls of power who continually sow the seeds of anger, hatred, and discord.

There are those who read this blog from both sides of the aisle politically speaking. I am fairly certain that each would agree with the above statement thinking that it is “them” to whom I refer.

Both sides are accusing the other of hate-mongering. I see the hate coming from both sides. None are exempt. Yes, there are individuals who are aiming for a higher road of peace, but they have not yet mounted a force against the anger.

Haman’s gallows became the symbol of his hypocritical anger toward the Jews.

Haman’s gallows became the symbol of his hypocritical anger toward the Jews. We have two walls in our country, which have become the symbol of hypocrisy for those who would enforce their will upon the populace without regard for differences.

In this country we have always been blessed with the presence of liberals, conservatives, and progressives. It is this mixture which has helped us to prosper. In recent times, however, this mixture, this melting pot of ideologies has taken on the form extreme antagonism.

Is one side to blame more than the other? That is not for me to say, nor is it the point. The point is—

Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. (Mat 12:25)