“The world is often a difficult place, full of fear and anger and suffering. But it is important to see that love and joy also fill our world. I share this belief with one of my closest and most mischievous friends, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am asking you to help us show that the world is not beyond hope. Anger, fear, and despair . . . No! These will not have the last word.”
So begins a video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, retired Archbishop of South Africa. What balm it is to the soul to hear his words today. While spoken long before the days of Covid-19, his words speak deeply to our Coronavirus pandemic world. When every morning we read of the latest infection and death rates from this unexpected, unwelcome, unseen enemy we can almost forget that this grim news is only part of our reality.
Every day thousands of acts of kindness occur between loved ones, friends, and strangers alike. Every day a doctor saves a life, EMT personnel perform life-saving measures; police and firefighters risk their lives to respond to emergency calls. Every day a teacher goes the extra mile to help a child who is confused by online learning, and aid workers go into high-risk situations in war-torn nations to reach out to the homeless, refugees, a distressed parent, or a hurt child. Every day the naked are clothed, the hungry are fed, the sick are visited, the wounded are healed, and someone receives another chance at life.
Every day an electrician repairs a power grid, and a plumber keeps the water flowing. Every day someone works the extra hour with no pay because that is what’s needed, and a young person receives mentoring from a wiser, more experienced loving soul. Every day clergy take time to listen, to care, and to reach out in the name of God to those in desperate need of a healing word during these times of uncertainty and fear. Every day people donate to charities with myriad goals to help someone they will never meet. Every day cross-cultural relationships among people of different cultures and traditions are changing our world one child, one person at a time.
Every day a child is born and parents, grandparents, and loved ones shed tears of indescribable joy. Every day someone says, “I love you” and means it with all their heart and soul. Every day someone is comforted, hugged, and told they are special beyond measure.
Every single day without exception.
Love and joy. It’s all around. Can you feel it?
The Rev. Canon Elizabeth R. Geitz