A clean slate
Today, if possible, start your lock-down home off on a “clean germ slate”. Clean the surfaces you often touch – doorknobs, handles, drawer knobs, window fasteners, light switches, taps, counters, fridge and oven doors, stove top controls, electrical equipment, phones, remote controls, hairbrushes, tooth brushes, water jugs, dustbin lids etc.
And as you do this, think about the people you are going to be sharing your space with for the next few weeks. What is necessary to wipe the relational slate clean? What do you need to forgive so that it does not infect your interactions?
Wash the clothes you wore during the last few days, clean your shoes, wash kitchen towels, hand towels, bath towels, bedding, clean the floors.
And again, think about the people you are living with. Where do you need to repent, and ask them for forgiveness? What relational work do you need to do to socially draw close to those now physically closest to you?
Wash your body and hair thoroughly.
Give some thought to the family and friends you are physically separated from. Is there more than just physical distance between you – have you been “social distancing” for a while? What role has your own attitude played? What pride, bitterness and grudge have you held onto, that now separates you more than the physical distance? Now may be the time to examine and work on yourself, let go of the right to be right, show compassion to the other. Perhaps it is even the time for you to make amends, make contact – telephonic or virtual – name what you have done that has come between you, ask them to demonstrate grace to you, and try to close the social distance between you?
Open the windows and doors to let in some fresh air and light.
We could dream a little and extend the range further to those who are separated from us more by class and race. Which of my own personal attitudes could change? What pride, bitterness and unforgiveness hangs in the social and physical space between us? Where does repentance, absolution, mercy and grace fit into this picture? Is there a way to clean this slate?
This will probably be an ongoing project – let’s start with a mindset that opens up possibilities for better social interaction, for liberating experiences even in the midst of a lockdown…