For those of us who live in Indianapolis, the presence of an unmarked, white pastry box means one crucial thing. That’s right: Long’s Donuts. Anyone who’s lived in Indy for any length of time knows the sight well. Last week, someone I know picked up a few of those boxes and dropped off some glazed goodness to friends. That small act of socially-distanced kindness reminds me that there are still fun, thoughtful ways for us to care for one another when we aren’t able to be together in person.
I don’t know about you, but the absence of physical proximity to friends is certainly growing my anticipation for the day when we are all physically together again, particularly as a church. The reality is, we miss each other. I miss seeing my choir friends, prayer partners, fellow Communion Team members, the band and orchestra, and the dancers… things aren’t the same.
At the same time, there is another reality. That is: God allowed this season to come in an age where we have all sorts of technology at our fingertips. Even ten years ago, connecting with each other would have required much more creative effort and would have been much more limited if we’d been in a similar situation.
Though virtual community can’t replace the real thing, it’s still a pretty sweet way we can get together. Kind of like a Long’s original glazed donut. So, during this season, I encourage you to think outside the box—perhaps a donut box?—by engaging in one of these social distancing approved connection ideas:
1. Have a coffee date over FaceTime or Zoom – Starbucks isn’t open for in-person dining, but as long as you have coffee, a chair, and a cell phone, you’re good to go! You can easily share your morning cup with a friend over a video chat.
2. Have a Netflix party – Good news: you can still have a movie night with friends during quarantine! You can use a Google Chrome plugin called “Netflix Party” to watch Netflix along with friends. Alternatively, you can just find a friend, choose something to watch on Netflix, and press “play” at the same time as the person you’re watching with.
3. Drop off notes – Remember the days when receiving cards and notes was a more regular occurrence? The art of a handwritten letter was once standard, but now it’s a special touch. Consider sending someone a card by either mailing it or dropping it off yourself.
4. Parking lot lunch -Pick up some food from your favorite local restaurant and social distance with friends by rolling the windows down or bringing lawn chairs, weather permitting.
5. Game night – Thanks to technology, there are a few ways to do virtual game nights with friends and family. Consider using a video chat service like Zoom or FaceTime, or utilize an app with built-in games like Houseparty. Get creative
I hope that you are taking some time to reach out to those who are close to you in our community. This may also be a great time to initiate with someone you don’t know quite as well. Whatever you do, don(u)t give up! See what I did there?