During this troubling time, it is easy to focus on all that’s going wrong: the hoarding, refusal to stay home, sickness, death, shortage of supplies, separation from loved ones….the list goes on and on.
There is no shortage of negatives to focus on. However, among the negatives, hidden beneath all of the scariness are glimpses of hope. We simply have to look and be open to see them.
How many schools have we seen put together a hurried plan from scratch to not only continue educating kids at home, but also a plan to continue to feed them? How many restaurants have offered free meals to kids without any purchase requirements? I know that McAllister’s Deli and Burger King did not to mention countless local eateries. Along with places offering free meals, there are a large number of educational websites that are offering free usage to anyone so that kids can more easily keep up with their schooling. Websites like ABC Mouse and many others. You can find a complete list at this blog: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135609/list-of-education-companies-offering-free-subscriptions/ Most of these are websites that charge an annual fee, but they have waived it for the good of our society. No one asked or demanded that they did this. Goodness reaching out!
Churches from all over have taken to Facebook live, Zoom, Skype, and other live streaming services to continue with regular services, classes, and study groups. Zoom has offered their services free to schools and organizations so that they can video conference during the pandemic crises. This Sunday alone, my husband and I had a class, two of my children had classes, my oldest had youth group, and we had two worship services all online. People are finding a way to carry on with what they value and find important. Faithfulness finding a way!
Through the news and social media, we’ve seen people decorating windows of nursing homes, decorating sidewalks with encouraging chalk messages, putting Christmas lights back up to lift spirits, putting stuffed animals in windows so that children can “hunt” them during walks. We’ve seen people reaching out to help advise and encourage each other on social media. There are videos of grandparents meeting newborn grandchildren through windows, children visiting parents through windows while on phones, and scores of people video calling to keep up with family. Love overcoming distance!
During this crazy time when people could focus on themselves, authors like Andrew Peterson, Mac Barnett, and Pete the Cat creator James Dean to name a few, are reading their books aloud to kids via Facebook or Instagram. Musicians are giving free concerts. Just today I’ve seen Brad Paisley, Neil Diamond, Tim McGraw, Switchfoot, Steven Curtis Chapman, and so many more playing and singing on Facebook live. Reaching out and encouraging people in the best way they have; giving of themselves. Museums giving online tours, The Met giving free concerts, artists from local (Make Paducah, Ky) to famous (Mo Willems) offering free art lessons, Zoos offering close, live online encounters with zoo animals (Cincinnatti Zoo offering Home Saffaris). In fact, there is such an abundance of opportunities to explore right now, that there’s honestly no way to take advantage of them all. Joy emerging out of tragedy!
The fact is if you only look at the surface, the situation looks grim. It would be easy to focus on the negatives, the fear, the isolation, but if you do that you miss the hope rising. It’s there!! The goodness, faithfulness, love, joy and HOPE all still there ready for us to choose to focus on them! Let’s all agree to look for the good!! Look for the hope! Look for ways to pass on that hope!!
There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.Dalai Lama XIV