By Terry Frisk
I am writing this article on Easter Sunday. It has been a very unusual Holy Week with most Easter activities cancelled or held online, which is just not the same without coming together in Christian fellowship.
While it was unfortunate that we could not come together to celebrate Easter at our places of worship, it was symbolic that church sanctuaries around the world were empty that Easter much like the tomb was on the first Easter. Just as that first Easter was a new beginning for followers of Christ, I pray that this Easter represents a new beginning for the world as the spread of the coronavirus has slowed and is hopefully on the decline when this issue hits the newsstands.
In times like this, there is a natural tendency to turn inward in order to protect yourself and your family. This tendency has been compounded by the shelter in place order limiting contact with the world outside your home. But now more than ever, we must reach out to our neighbors.
- Connect– We live inan age where we have so many ways to connect with others. Call, text, email, post or even snail mail a card to family and friends to share how you are coping with shelter in place and ask how they are doing. Simply reaching out is therapeutic to both you and them. I have called old friends that I lost touch with and just catching up has helped raise my spirits as well as theirs.
- Volunteer– While there are limitations on ways to volunteer, there are still opportunities to be the hands and feet of God. Asunemployment increases, food pantries will need help serving the increased demand from those unable to provide. Check in with your church or local charity to see if there are ways that you can safely assist them in their mission. It is such a rewarding experience.
- Serve– Look for ways to serve others. If you have to make a trip to the grocery store, check with others to see if you can shop for them as well, especially if they are in the high-risk group.
- Entertain– Parents with small children could usea break. If you have grandchildren, nieces, nephews or even friends with small children, offer to entertain them for an hour. There are a number of virtual games you can play with children or even other adults on conference apps like Zoom. You can also read to them or even sing karaoke. There are hundreds of karaoke songs on YouTube that you can sing together. I have seen news reports of young people singing and playing musical instruments outside of care centers. Use your imagination and talent to help lift the spirits of others.
- Give– As income declines for some who are out of work, there will be a greater need for financial support for the churches and charitable organizations that assist those in need. Expenses in our house have declined because we are not driving, shopping or spending on entertainment. As a result, we have been able to increase our giving to our church and other causes to help fill the gap for the additional need.
- Appreciate– Take time to thank those who have stepped up during this time. People in the most unlikely positions have become first responders. Grocery and drug store employees are trueheroes as they provide essential services to all of us at the risk of their health and their family’s health. Those who are serving our current needs are deserving of our appreciation.
- Pray– Take time to pray five times each day: when you get up, at each meal and before you go to bed. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings and hope for all those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quoting author and Presbyterian pastor Frederick Buechener, “The worst isn’t the last thing about the world. It’s the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best.” The crucifixion of Christ may have been the worst thing, but it was not the last thing. The resulting resurrection was best. The COVID-19 virus is now the worst thing, but with our faith in God, it will not be the last thing. Take care and be safe. May God bless us and see us through these times.
Terry Frisk is a partner in the firm B2B CFO, providing financial advisory services to small businesses. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Counseling ministry. He may be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.