I asked Nancy for help. “For 300,” I said. “Ask me a question.”
Instead of a question, she sent me a coded message. “Proverbs 18:1. In the Holman.”
It’s a kind of code we understand. We understand Bible speak.
So I looked up the sentence she was pointing to, in the book of Proverbs, in the Bible.
One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;
he rebels against all sound judgment. Proverbs 18:1
I smiled. And started writing. Because I had spent the previous hour not isolating myself, with a group of guys who weren’t isolating themselves. We meet every week to talk about the Bible. This time, we watched a video about reading the Bible and then talked about the ways we read the the amount that some of us don’t like or understand the Old Testament. (You can watch it yourself: The Peopled Nature of Interpretation). I treasure the conversation and the community. I need the accountability of face-to-face as I work out what I think.
I smiled for another reason. I asked for help. I struggle to do that. I lean toward alone rather than together. And Nancy doesn’t let that happen. For which I am very grateful. But to ask for help and to be reminded of the value of together was perfect.
And then, as Hope and I were driving home, I asked her to send me a text. Because I wrote the last line of the post in my head. And I knew she’d get upset if I texted it. Because her sound judgement says “don’t text and drive.”
“Of course, you have to listen.”
To the counsel and the sound judgement and the community. Because while isolation may be a function of geography or job or season of life, self-isolation is a choice. Sometimes protective, but often destructive.