Sopphey Vance is an MDiv student at Austin Seminary. Throughout this year he will be writing some of his reflections about universal human needs.
In the narration of the creation story in chapter two of Genesis, the Lord God says that “it is not good that the man should be alone;”.  While, the Hebrew word for “the man” is often translated as a singular man. The word can also mean mankind–more modernly as human kind. It is bold to note that in this narrative of the creation story, God did not immediately create women. No, the God of the heavens and earth created other living organisms first and then women.
If we backtrack a bit in the biblical witness, we will find that humanity exists to coexist in connection with the flora and fauna of the earth. Humanity exists to coexist within its community. And lastly, humanity exists to coexist with God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ. The whole of existence is interconnected.
In this unbearable, unavoidable, uncomfortable time of COVID-19 the whole world aches for connection. Plants for harvest are being picked by laborers. Animals are free-er to roam in their habitats. And the human, a section of humans sit alone in their urbanized environments. Other sections of humans sit so abundantly connected with their families while trying to work, teach, cook, and adapt to the economic pressures of the age.
I’m a person of action. I want to believe that I adopted that from God. Not only did God state the problem in regards to connection. But God did something about it. In these times, though physical connection is restricted, we can still prevail. Austin, Texas has a great risk-based guidelines resource. According to this resource, we can connect in a few risk-free ways:
1) Praying fervently for each other.
2) Connecting on social media.
3) Sending emails.
4) Calling people via phone service.
5) Sending physical mail.
Yes, I know…six months into this pandemic and this is the top five pre-pandemic ways we connected before the pandemic. We are not God. We are just perfectly imperfect humans who need connection. In a rush for cliches, let’s not get bogged down by re-inventing the wheel. Let’s wholeheartedly and intentionally piece together the gaps of physical distancing.
Now, some humans have more time than others. This is not an exhaustive list. In fact, I feel like the only item on this list that is universal is the first item! Fervently pray for one another, beloved children of God. I will pray for you. I will pray for us to be reunited in person again soon.
Thinking caps on time! What are some ways you want to connect with others? Are you abundantly busy or abundantly keeping time? Who do you wish to connect with at the moment? Make a list of these people you love so much! How do you wish to connect with them? Choose one person and one way and find connection.
Peace and Love,
Sarai “Sopphey Vance” Oviedo
Genesis 2:18 NRSV
Much gratitude to Marshall Rosenberg and his seven basic human needs.