Monday, April 6
The highlight of my work week is on Monday morning when the staff at the ministry where I work come together for a time of worship. For the past few weeks since we started working from home, we’ve been meeting together virtually on our computers.
Our leader, who everyone calls “MT”, is a gifted pianist and worship leader. He plays the piano in his home studio while the rest of us sing along in our homes. Because only one person can talk at a time over Zoom, we all mute ourselves to sing.
I was sitting outside for the meeting on Monday, but singing out loud in worship from my deck.
”You give life. You are love.
You bring light to the darkness.
You bring hope. You restore
Every heart that is broken.
Great are you, Lord.”
I looked up at my computer screen, and my heart was filled with emotion. I could see all of my friends and co-workers singing along, but I couldn’t hear their voices. In one square, Andrew was playing the violin. A little later, Hannah joined on the guitar.
I imagined the sound of all of us singing together. I could hear the instruments in my mind. But the only sound coming from the computer was MT’s piano and his voice quietly leading us.
We were all worshipping God separately, but together as one.
I’ve been trying to capture quick photos throughout my day to remember these moments in time. I took a screen shot of our worship time. I looked at it last night, and it struck me what a precious picture it represented of what is happening on a much broader scale in our world.
For those of us who aren’t sick or on the front lines fighting COVID-19, It can feel like we are alone, quietly singing in our homes. We can’t hear our neighbors, our friends in other communities, our family members in other states or people living in other parts of the world. But by staying in their homes, they are singing, too.
Throughout my day, I get visual reminders that we aren’t doing this alone. I see hopeful messages written in chalk on the sidewalk. I see the photos that friends post of their day on social media. I see signs in a neighbor’s yard, asking people to honk to wish someone a happy birthday.
Actions that might have been considered unfriendly in the past are now seen as signs of silent solidarity. When we go for a walk and encounter another person, we distance ourselves as much as possible to give them room to pass. People in the grocery store wear masks that hide their facial expressions. But even without being able to see a smile, it’s a sign that they are protecting not only themselves, but other people.
Most of the time, I can’t see or hear what is going on in all of the homes around me where people are choosing to stay inside. It often feels like we can’t be making that much of a difference simply by staying home.
But watching my friends singing together on the computer was a good reminder to me that it does matter. This might be the first time in the history of the world that people in every nation are fighting the same battle. We are united to stop an opponent we can’t even see.
We can’t hear each other while we are confined to our own spaces, but by staying apart, we are coming together. And even when I can only hear my own voice, it’s nice to know that others are singing the same song.
Read my past posts during coronavirus social distancing: