Social isolation just goes on and on. We are social beings, and we are certainly building some self-discipline as we exercise caution and care for the well-being of ourselves and others. Sometimes, it just seems too quiet and the impact is more than just a tad dreary. What can you and I do at such times to lift the burden of being alone?
Over the years, my solution has been to make a phone call and ask the person on the other end of the line, “Hi, how are you doing?” Even one such phone call evolves into real concern for the other person, and I forget my sense of isolation! After two phone calls, I am cured of feeling down and really lifted up! Our “Hi, Neighbor!” project is not just about keeping us connected; it’s also about keeping each of us connected spiritually to others who are part of our church family.
In talking with various callers for different “Hi, Neighbor!” groups, I have learned a lot more about how these connections are making an impact and finding ways for meeting together while being safe. I’d like to share some of them with you!
During the past few weeks, we have been able to locate proper phone numbers, addresses and emails for a number of folks, because our callers have updated our information. Sun City folks move around changing addresses and often changing email addresses and cell phone number. The more up-to-date our information becomes, the more successful we are in sending you news and keeping in touch with you. Good job, callers!
Some of the stories I hear from our callers are really touching. One caller finished introducing herself to her neighbors and then got in touch with me to let me know that she had two neighbors she’d never met before who were in their 90’s and one of them hadn’t heard from anyone, not even family, for the past three weeks. Her phone just was not ringing. But then a neighborhood group caller got in touch with her, and she began to feel so much better. The feelings of isolation and loneliness lifted. She asked if the caller would call daily and wanted this warm-hearted woman to call every day. Well, that wasn’t possible, but they arranged a weekly call to help offset her sense of isolation. You know who was excited? Well, yes, the older woman was excited but the really excited person was the caller who understood that she had warmed the heart of her neighbor.
Another caller contacted me to be sure she was doing the right thing. She had been sent a list of twenty-six neighbors. I assured her that only six of them needed to hear from her. As we discussed updating records ,she happened to mention that she’d gone to the Dollar Store on 99 Avenue and Greenway and bought some Valentine’s Day cards. Each one had a Scripture on the inside, and she sent one to each of her twenty-six neighbors. What a great idea for any of us! After all, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and other well-known events are coming up soon. From time to time, we can send a card to every person you have on your list or at least to some of them and lift their days.
In the future, I hope to have more and more stories to share about the impact of our phone connections with one another. In the meantime, let us know how your phone calling is going. We love to hear from you! After all, your pastors enjoy your calls just as much as your neighbors!