What Happened to Being “In This Together?”

coronavirus news on screen

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached U.S. soil, the phrase, “We’re all in this together” sprung up across the nation.

As we made radical adjustments to our way of life, the statement somehow brought us comfort. It reminded us that we were not alone. It bonded us together in a fight against a common enemy. It helped us cope with a scenario none of us had ever imagined.

We hunkered down, joined forces, and knocked this insidious illness in the jaw. We saw the fruits of our sacrifices as we “flattened the curve.”

But sometime between that initial state of solidarity and now, something changed. The novelty wore off. The economic impact became more devastating daily, and we ached to return to our “normal” lives.

Continue reading

When you wish you could do more

poverty_in_mexico2[1]

When I heard that my church’s service would be devoted to a mission’s trip report, I initially dreaded it.  I knew the team would show photos of the home they built for a needy family in Mexico and share how their own lives had been transformed in the process.

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in the cause . . . or celebrate the great things that God had done through them.

It was because I couldn’t go with them.

My physical limitations keep me from taking on short-term (let alone long-term) mission assignments.  Hearing others share about their amazing experiences (whether in person or via social media) can sometimes make me feel “less than,” left out, and longing to do more.

There are so many things I would do, if only I could . . . GOOD things, that would help meet the overwhelming spiritual and physical needs in the world. Yet, more often than not, I have to say “no” to opportunities to serve.

“No,” to pounding nails in Mexico. “No,” to traveling to an Operation Christmas Child warehouse. “No,” to overnight shifts at the local homeless shelter.

Then I discovered something I could say “Yes” to! Continue reading

Why the election results won’t scare me

th10The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”  Most of us have heard this phrase from the famous folk tale “Chicken Little.” After an acorn strikes his head, the startled bird flutters about frantically, trying to warn everyone of impending doom.  Versions of the story exist in numerous cultures and go back centuries.

The 2016 United States presidential election has been  rife with Chicken Little claims, from both the candidates and their passionate supporters.

“If (insert candidate) is elected, then surely (insert calamity/tragedy) will happen.”

I’ll admit, I’ve had my moments of anxiety throughout this presidential campaign. I am both incredulous and dismayed that the best our electoral process could produce is the two candidates we have to choose from.

I’ve even whispered, “God help us if so-and-so is elected!” Continue reading

Breaking my white bubble

NOTE: This post was written in 2016 during the time our nation was reeling over the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  I have re-posted it in on Facebook in June 2020 as our country reacts to the death of George Floyd.


A few weeks ago I was stuck behind a slow truck on my way to work.  When the truck finally turned off, the road opened up and I accelerated to make up a little time.  As I zoomed towards the railroad tracks, I glimpsed a police car out of the corner of my eye.  It was too late to slow down.  I knew I was busted.

Know-Your-Rights-Traffic-Stops-1-The-Leaf-Online[1]

The patrol car’s lights began flashing the moment I whizzed by, and I dutifully pulled over to the shoulder. While the cruiser crept up behind me, I reached for my purse, preparing to pull out my driver’s license.  The officer approached my car and I rolled down my window.

The imposing man in blue bent over and said, “Oh, it’s you!”

“Hi,” I said sheepishly, recognizing him, too.  I knew the officer from when I had worked for the City several years earlier.

I reached for my driver’s license.  “Oh, put that away,” he said casually.  We chatted for a while and in what seemed like almost an afterthought, he said “and slow down.”

I drove off without a ticket, realizing I had been shown favor (he had said more than once that if an officer who didn’t know me had made the stop, I probably would have gotten a ticket.)

A few days later I was driving home from work and saw someone else stopped by a police car, not far from where I was pulled over.  It was a young black man, and two police officers were sitting in the patrol car behind him.

In light of recent national events, I couldn’t help but wonder—were both the driver and the officers on heightened alert and concerned for their safety?

Continue reading