Comfort in Trying Times

Comfort in Trying Times

As the USS Comfort pulled into New York Harbor a few weeks ago, this photograph reminded me that Lady Liberty and her beacon of hope can symbolize so much more about America. It can symbolize Americans pulling together to look out for one another. It can symbolize mobilization in turbulent times to take care of one another–to save one another no matter the cost.

As I have worked hard to stay at home, I have been inspired by all of the things that many around me are doing to offer comfort to those who are struggling at this difficult time. A global pandemic is nothing to ignore. Sometimes it is hard to just sit at home. I have watched friends and neighbors, co-workers and associates:

+sew dozens and dozens of requested masks for hospitals

+make meals for pick up from an inner city children’s center

+launch story hour, art lessons, and singing time online to help support parents with children who are now home 24/7

+deliver meals on wheels to seniors who can no longer get out

+volunteer extra time at local food pantries while need has increased

+order take out and farm share from local businesses who are trying desperately to stay open and service the community while facing limited access to customers

+pick up medicine and food for sick neighbors

+decorate the sidewalks and driveways of neighbors with encouraging messages and pictures

+fly across the country to help with medical care in communities where need is higher than the numbers of personnel trained to meet it

These actions inspire me. These actions are a tribute to all of you who understand that we, as Americans, do look after the tired, the poor, and the tempest tossed. As the weeks turn into months, let us continue to work from our couches to support each other in this time of crisis. Then as things begin to open up, let us not forget those who will still need our help.

Let us offer comfort in the ways that we can. Wave to your neighbor from across the street or across the lobby. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly citizen–and do so in a safe manner. Reach out on social media and cheer up some long lost friends. Write a letter to your mother, your aunt, your grade school teacher. Send a thank you card to those on the front lines: the doctors, the nurses, the workers, their families. There are as many ways to reach out and help as there are people who choose to do so. Find the ones that are right for you.

We can do this. Even in our isolation we can reach out and support one another. Let us take this opportunity to unite. Let us be Lady Liberty’s hands of comfort, eyes of understanding, beacons of hope.

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