Once self-isolation became the norm in our neighborhoods, I started to (finally) think of my neighbors. The elderly couple down the road—how are they holding up? The widow who’s all alone—is she coping with the loneliness? The woman from church who was anxious before the virus became our new normal—is she staying strong?
These are good thoughts. Jesus’ brother James reminds us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).
Real religion isn’t just about church services, home devotions, and generous offerings. It’s about looking after the isolated and ignored. It’s investing our limited time into their lives, making sure they feel seen, known, and loved.
After all, this is one of the wonderful things about Jesus. In our distress, he listens to our prayers. In our guilt, he extends his hands and shows us his scars. In our fear, his Spirit brings us back to the promises of God to work out all things for good. Through it all, Jesus sees us. That makes us fully known and wonderfully loved.
So look around today and see people. During your isolation, think of those whom your busyness might have blinded you to. Reach out and show them a glimpse of Jesus’ love.
If this virus gets us one step closer to “pure and faultless” religion, it will all be worth it. Proof, once more, that Christ > Corona.