A heartfelt hug from a loved one, an ear-to-ear smile not hidden by a mask, reminiscing with beloved family members over home-made pancakes and real maple syrup, singing a favorite hymn in community with your friends and neighbors at an in-person worship service; all of these are such simple moments but as we continue to emerge from a shared experience none of us will ever forget, the joy of the simple things we may once have taken for granted seems so real, so palpable that it seems almost like the pandemic may have forever changed us, to have permanently rewired our souls.
Some experts on mental health say these joyful feelings that many are experiencing as they re-enter more normal social interactions with others are to be expected. In an interview with “Healthline,” Karen Doll, a licensed psychologist in Minnesota said:
“The isolation and loneliness have been significant, Reconnecting with individuals is having a powerful impact on people and relationships. The increase in oxytocin that occurs when we are connected with people is so important for well-being.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this happiness turned out to be durable, that through the past year and a half of isolation we’ve learned and grown, and that we’ll always remember to be grateful as we return to normalcy, and be utterly unwilling to go back to taking our relationships and our basic everyday interactions for granted. It seems to me that we can at least hope and pray, and remember not only our own recent experiences but also those of the early Christians as depicted in the Book of Acts:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts... -Acts 2:42-47
Have a Safe and Blessed July 4th weekend,