Since March of 2020 the vast majority of the independent individuals suddenly had a very bitter taste of what it is to be "a Shut-In." A shut-in is simply an individual that is unable to move freely among the public society due to age, lack of mobility or debilitating diseases. But as of March 2020 the whole world became part of the "Shut-In Club."
Now that 2021 has arrived, as of March, things are starting to "open up". The world is back to running to and fro again, even if there are still limitations on what that really looks like from state to state and country to country. All that is, accept the "Shut-in's." They are still confined to their recliners, beds or nursing home facilities.
I ask you this year, as you count your blessings, think of those who are not able to be free in the world as you are once more. Some are still held captive by emotional or mental illnesses which makes functioning in public nearly impossible. Some are still held captive by physical disabilities that make getting out and about difficult or impossible. I ask you to remember what it was like to be stripped of your freedom because of some disease that was running rampant around the world for 18 months. The real shut-in's were doubly cursed as not only could they not get out, but their loved ones were not able to get in.
I spoke to a dear friend who is on our shut-in list back in the summer of 2020. She told me that it was lonely and people in the nursing home feel that they are forgotten and that no one cares about them. Imagine that you can't hear and the only way for you to visit is to have actual visitors. Now, they can't visit and the phone call will do you no good, because remember, you can't hear. The second issue of 2020 was that the mail systems were reduced in many locations so, sending and receiving letters and cards was greatly delayed... IF they even showed up at all to the destination written on the envelope.
2020 made those, who are creative, even more creative in finding ways to communicate with those who are shut -in. But as of the opening up of 2021, please find a way to bless those who are shut in still. We have people who can not leave their homes but who are very willing to have visitors. Please, find time each month to go visit. A monthly news letter is always a cheery way to learn about the world beyond the four walls. Please, glorify Your Father in heaven by being part of His body and being a cheerful smile and warm hug to those who are shut-in. The blessings of giving some of your "busy schedule" are multiplied beyond measure to those who are unable to join with the rest of us at our Church and family gatherings. Don't just tithe your money, tithe your time for God this year in thankfulness for His giving you a fresh free 2021.