Something Is Missing

photo by Seda Servet from
photo by Seda Servet from

There is loneliness in my spirit—a pandemic induced and bodily loneliness. On March 22nd, 2020, our church communities were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is almost a full year ago. With the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines there are rays of hope that our society and our churches will be more opened by the fall of this year, 2021. That is still a long way out, and I feel it in my body and spirit. As a community of faith, since last March, we have been adjusting to recorded liturgy and other forms of community gathering online. In September, we began the process of in person liturgy and other gatherings with physical distancing and required restrictions. I am truly grateful for every form of gathering, both online and in person, even with COVID-19 restrictions. But having said that, I am aware of a loneliness about me—a bodily loneliness. Our bodies are equally as important to being part of community as are our minds and souls. We are not long out of the Christmas season when we were celebrating the Incarnation of God in Jesus of Nazareth. This is the same Jesus who teaches that, “I am in you, and you are in me.” Each and every one of us is an incarnation of God. This means everything. God is “in” all of creation. This means that our bodies are good and important, and that physical presence and physical touching is a non-negotiable component of being in healthy community. I am grateful for the love and physical embrace of my family and COVID bubble, but that is not enough. I need the Church, the Body of Christ. I need to physically hold the Body of Christ. I need to be physically held by the Body of Christ. That is what I am lonely for. That is what I most miss during this season of COVID restrictions. Something as simple as a handshake at the door as the church physically gathers—I miss that. Being able to stand close to another in conversation—I miss that. Being able to embrace anyone who wanted or needed an embrace—I miss that. Although a restricted number of people are allowed to gather as church, there is, for me at least, a loneliness about it. Something is missing in our presence and connection. I long for the day when we can embrace one another again. It is a hope that is full of the Spirit drawing us forward and together.

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