Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The One-Vulture Distancing Rule
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
A few years ago a nurse in the congregation I was serving pointed out that when I shook hands at the door of the sanctuary following worship I was essentially "Typhoid Mary" during flu season, potentially transmitting illness from one person to the next. I took her observation to heart and began fist and elbow bumping people or just greeting with a smile and a word or two.
The response was interesting. Some were confused, others amused. A few were annoyed, as though shaking hands was some sort of scripturally mandated form of communication. In fact, hand shaking began as a way to indicate that the two individuals were unarmed. Come to think of it, some of those grumps were armed and dangerous in their own way. Even in retirement I've made a point of altering my greeting behaviour at church during flu season.
We are now in a time when physical distancing in urged and even legally mandated as a matter of life and death. In Italy, a country where thousands have died because of the coronavirus, persons have been arrested for violating quarantine and the distancing rules.
As someone who loves being out of doors and has noticed the Spring return of turkey vultures in recent days I got a kick out of seeing this vulture standard for physical distancing. Hey, if this image works for some people, why not? I choose not to go too deeply into the ominous implications of circling vultures!
For those who tend toward biblical literalism, I suggest ignoring the apostle Paul's well-meaning encouragement to plant a kiss on other believers. Even at the best of times this could lead to serious social distancing and maybe even a lawsuit. Instead, spread your wings (metaphorically) and stay safe,