My wife runs a pre-school setting and it was recently suggested to her that when the children return they could spend the day in Zorb balls to ensure social distancing. Not a serious suggestion!
Sticking with the spherical theme, one of the ideas touted in the lead up to Boris Johnson’s statement about slowly unwinding the lockdown was about each of us choosing a bubble. A bubble would be a small network of family and friends that we can be in physical contact with. The bubble would become our effective household and we would commit to sticking exclusively within one bubble.
Whether this ever becomes a practical solution remains to be seen. There are significant obstacles including how as a government it could effectively be enforced.
Almost everyone involved on the lockdown has recognised that being deprived of social contact is one of the most difficult things about having to stay at home. Not being able to see friends and family has been a huge challenge for most people. Social contact is seen as vital for our well-being.
Our God is a relational God. He has always existed as Father Son and Holy Spirit in close relationship. He makes human beings in his image as relational beings. The feelings we have on being deprived of the option to connect beyond our immediate family shows how instinctively important relationships are to us.
But the whole bubble thought experiment also shows us that relationships are a challenge. Having to choose a small group of people to be in our bubble is fraught. Who would we choose? Who would choose us? Will we be disappointed, or will be disappoint others. Will we create harmony or division? Relationships are at times competitive and insecure. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve we are looking over our shoulder, concerned about our rankings, wondering who our friends are.
It’s a great time to remind ourselves that our desire for secure relationship is ultimately met in Christ as he brings us in to a very big bubble – the church – and it’s a bubble that will not burst.