A Choice… Living in Separation and Isolation or Closeness and in Relationship with God

Like some of you and others in our community I have recently experienced living in isolation, being separated from others due to COVID. No amount of interaction with others through online means such as social media, facetime, MS Teams and Zoom made up for the absence of interpersonal closeness with others. The lack of freedom to do what I wanted to, when I wanted to external of the home environment was very restrictive and took some adjustment. What I did get to do and appreciate was that there were books which I had not previously ‘found’ time to read that got read and crossword puzzles attempted and actually completed. I had space (plenty of it) to pause in deep reflective mediative practice.

When I was finally informed that I was permitted to move beyond the home prison, this new freedom felt strange. I needed to adjust to reconnecting with loved ones and work colleagues.

The joy of once again seeing and sharing special times with close family had new meaning.

This experience got me thinking about my relationship with God. I know there have been times when I have lived in isolation from Him and have gone about a self-indulgent life following selfish pursuits, dreams and ambitions. My relationship with Him was a bit like, ‘when I need you, I will call on you’ but otherwise I am going just fine without you.

How this must have been very hurtful to God as if he had COVID and I was isolating myself from Him. In Luke 15 11-32, in the parable of the ‘Unconditional love of the Father’ commonly known as the parable of “the lost son’, we are reminded that our heavenly Father bears no grudges about our rejection of Him, but rejoices and celebrates when we return to relationship with Him. This is unconditional love!

In this time of lent, even more so than previously, I have a deepened appreciation of the immensity of God’s love for me through the price that His son Jesus paid through his death, so that I could be freed from the burden of my self-indulgence and sin.

I look forward in anticipation to the joy of the celebration of Easter, where I will be reminded of the hope that comes from knowing that Jesus rose and had victory over death, so that I could be in relationship with Him, an eternal one, forever.


John Proeve


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