FINDING THE GOOD
While there is daily bad news about COVID-19, there are also good stories of people helping people and making a difference. Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of suffering.” She could see more about life than most people that have 20/20 vision!
Two medical students at the University of Minnesota Medical School saw they would have a little more time and wanted to use it wisely. So, Sruthi Shankar and Sara Lederman began recruiting med students to assist doctors, nurses, and pharmacists – not in the hospital, but in their homes. They had 280 people volunteer to serve with the Minnesota CovidSitter’s Program. They provide child and pet care, run errands, and do the shopping for healthcare workers. Letterman said, “Not only does it take a village, it takes a brilliant, humble, determined village.”
One simple thing that every person can do is refuse to participate in spreading half-truths or rumors about the virus. FEMA has added a page to its website called, “Coronavirus Rumor Control.” Here they dispel rumors such as “FEMA has military personnel and can impose martial law.” It dispels rumors about magical cures or treatments for COVID-19. Misinformation, half-truths, and rumors can make COVID-19 look a lot more powerful than it is!
This battle with COVID-19 has given opportunities for creative ways of sharing the Gospel. I have been involved in several presentations by Zoom. Live streaming has become the norm for churches. The pastors have seen attendance online more than double or triple in-person attendance. Most have reported that financial giving is more this year at this time than it was last year.
Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church, has seen online attendance during the mandated stay-at-home order go from about 8,000 to Palm Sunday with over 1.3 million people! They recorded 11,207 new decisions for Christ that day. 1.7 million people around the world viewed a Holy Week live stream event by Pulse, and over 100,000 people came to faith in Christ! Many are saying we are in a “Great Quarantine Revival.”
My friend, David Bush, serves First United Methodist El Dorado, Arkansas. People drive to the huge parking lots at the church, park at least 10 feet away from each other, roll down their windows, wave to each other, and listen to the sermon on the radio. When David says something powerful (which is very often), the people blink their lights or blow their horns indicating an “Amen!”
Also expanding are lifestyle changes brought on by home confinement. People are cooking more – especially homemade bread. Amazon reports that searches for “all-purpose flour” have increased by 3,618%. Queries for yeast have risen by 5,343%. Bread machines, which lost their popularity in the 90s, have bumped 652% in online sales.
Waistlines are probably expanding. A cartoon shows an extremely overweight couple facing a door that was far smaller than them. The husband said, “It’s great the quarantine will be over – but how will we get out of the house?”
My friend Derric Johnson says, “Bread is like the sun – it rises in the yeast and sets in the waist.”
What are you finding to do good during the pandemic?