God, we pray for those who have touched
computer keys or phone touchscreen
(or both) thousands of times,
since they last touched human skin —
for both extroverts, who are fatigued,
unable to generate any energy,
and introverts, charged up
with nowhere to share renewed compassion.
We pray for those who decided to skip deodorant,
and now have not washed their hair
for days and days and days,
and for people who never, ever thought
they would not be satisfied with dog’s devotion
or the sufferance of the cat.
We pray for those who have signed up
for free Gratefulness.org courses,
My Fitness routines,
binged some fabulous new shows,
play online scrabble with friends,
and who know that a single phone call
can be an offertory-worthy gift,
and those who feel like they don’t care.
We pray for those with newly cleaned closets,
and those with dirty underwear
underfoot … everywhere
because no one is going to see it.
We know you are with everyone who is alone,
and pray they feel it at least once a day,
and we pray for the ones
whom lonely is damaging —
that they may have
human attention, maybe ours. amen
My friends, tomorrow is my birthday. This is the present I want from you (not necessarily a Facebook greeting — I do know you feel that). I hope that for my sake you will text or even call someone you know who is alone. Maybe it someone who hesitates to reach out and “bother” you … or maybe the friend or relative you know is hard to get off the line … or maybe someone who never initiates connection but is hurt when it doesn’t happen … or a church acquaintance you don’t know well but whom you suspect is lonely … or a non-church acquaintance because those may be even more isolated, since churches usually try to reach out. Yes, Friday I will definitely offer a prayer for those who have a house too full of say … four year olds! But for Thursday March 26 I hope you will just offer some kindness to a person “extra-alone,” which is one definition of ‘lonely,’” in the midst of this pandemic.