In this time of death and great uncertainty, this phrase keeps going through my head. We see acts of great kindness, great selflessness, acts of encouragement and sharing. Those are the things I want to focus on, the things I want to remember. The people performing these acts are generally not high profile people; they are ordinary people performing extraordinary acts.
I see videos of celebrities filming video clips from their fancy house or mansions, complaining about being bored or feeling confined by their circumstances. I’m sure you’ve seen them, too. I have no sympathy for them at all. They have so much more than many people could even dream of. I admire the celebrities who are generously giving some of what they have to others, whether or not it is a publicity stunt. The end result is that someone who is in need is helped. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
When this is over – and especially now – I hope we take time to notice those who serve us – the restaurant workers, the police, the farmers, the truck drivers, the medical workers, the office workers, and so many others – and show them and express to them kindness and thankfulness for all they do.
The gal who is my massage therapist (and helps hold at bay the aches and pains that harass me) has messaged me twice to see if there is anything we needed. She’s busy and has a lot on her plate, and her kindness and thoughtfulness truly touched me.
I have been laid off for the duration of this virus, and have had to file for unemployment. It’s been tough getting through to the NC Division of Employment Security. I’ve had to call twice to ask questions, and it took me a week to actually get through the first time and then 2.5 hours in the queue to talk to a live person. Both times, I was so impressed with the employees’ pleasantness, calmness and helpfulness. I’m sure they are swamped and get their share of complainers. I tried to communicate to them to the best of my ability how truly grateful I was for their help in this craziness.
I hope we come out of this a more compassionate people – something that is not just for the moment, but for the rest of our lives. I hope we perform acts of kindness without anyone watching or without any accolades – just because we can. I hope we come out of this with a heightened awareness that a high profile person (i.e., actor, singer, politician) does not have more “value” than ordinary people. I’ve written before about the integrity of my husband and how he treats everyone he meets with the same respect. It’s one of the things I love most about him.
With my husband’s age and his heart attack four and a half months ago, we have to be very careful overall as members of the “at risk” group, so I am not able to “do” a lot for other people. My focus has been on doing everything I can to keep Joe safe and healthy. I cannot imagine Joe getting sick and being all alone in the hospital – or, worse yet, having him succumb to this virus. I don’t know what I would do without him.
Our son and his family live in Seattle, a few miles from the epicenter of this virus in the United States. I worry about their safety and that of our daughter and son-in-law in South Carolina. When you have lost a child, you truly understand the frailty of human life and how quickly someone you love can be taken from you. My heart aches for those who have lost dearly loved ones.
Please be kind. In a world that is hurting, be kind, pleasant, helpful. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Even a small kindness can make a difference in someone else’s world.
Stay safe. Stay well.
This is the context for title of this blog article – Matthew 25:31 – 40 –
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
© 2020 Rebecca R. Carney