When I drove an SUV with a spare tire on the back, I had a friend paint on it a globe and the words only connect. Often strangers in a parking lot would approach and ask what it meant. “What do you think it means?” I’d reply.  I watched them wrestle with the concept.

The longer that phrase, an epigraph from E.M. Forster’s novel, Howard’s End, sat with me, the clearer it seemed this was the answer to every problem I could imagine: boredom and self-pity, loneliness and depression, even violence and inequity.

What would happen if we reached out to others to give and accept support more than ever before? Could that not only nourish our own spirits and provide balm for a suffering friend, but chip away at a misogynist church, a white supremacist police force, anti-intellectual citizens, and greedy government officials?  Intentionally deepening our every connection allows Spirit to manifest more powerfully in our world.

Days of isolation ask me to make a concerted effort to connect with those I typically see as well as friends I’ve not stayed in touch with, those who know me and see me with the eyes of love.

Days of loss and transition ask that I connect more honestly with myself rather than go through the motions of a daily routine. What nourishes my spirit today may not tomorrow, yet I must be present and honest in order to notice any subtle shifts.

Connecting needn’t require huge effort–merely the willingness to open, to answer a ringing phone, to follow up on an intuitive nudge.

The greatest gift of this Great Pause may well be the growing awareness that our connections not only sustain us but create the best path forward into whatever God would have us be.