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Amid the gloom, doom and fears all around us, there is a larger picture. A city official reported today that managing the needs of his city are much easier as every agency is attempting to do all they can to cooperate. It can be expected that the same sense of cooperation could take hold world- wide as we all face one enemy. The world can become a better kinder place because of this experience.

One of the unexpected outcomes of the threat of the virus is that people are forced to face their own vulnerability and mortality. One story was that a bored teenager picked up his Bible and found that the ancient book could speak right to the needs of his heart from the Psalms. There is an open opportunity for those of us who are followers of Jesus to be peace and light to neighbors and strangers alike. We have the opportunity to demonstrate our faith exhibiting the fact that God is good and in control. This could be a time of spiritual awakening.

The American spirit has always been one of ingenuity. During the Great Depression some of the most monumental building programs emerged that are still landmarks in our nation. Right now, social media is exploding with many creative ways for people to connect though they are “sheltered in place.” The service that people offer to help others around them are countless. Our neighborhood shops for each other every chance we get. Then there are the creative things that pop up like Insta Cart, a service that is inexpensive and delivers groceries right to your front door. I heard an inspiring story of a small church that had left over respirators from the Camp Fire and donated them to the triage nurses at Enloe.

Start collecting your own stories of local heroes and random acts of kindness. Use your boredom to create something new that will benefit you and others. Creativity is a great gift.

This is a time to sit down and write out a list of things for which to be grateful. Having a grateful spirit makes the cycle of altruism flourish. I heard the story of a 72 year old priest in Italy who refused a respirator so that a younger person could have a chance to live. Those kinds of actions create gratitude for human kind and a gracious God behind it all.

Nancy C.