I hope this message finds you all well. There are so many stories of sacrifice, sharing, and finding true purpose being “written” by so many of you during this pandemic. I have witnessed examples that exemplify what the word community truly represents.

To be honest, I have also heard and read about a few that have chosen to show what I can only hope is a temporary lapse in judgment. Possibly the pressures of this crisis have allowed those few to forget that we are all part of a collective, called community. In the bigger picture, aren’t we all equally part of an even larger “community” called the human race? Someone wise once said, “You can have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts.”

I had a conversation with someone earlier this week. My intentions were to make them feel better and offer them support, prayers, and my sister’s famous chicken and noodles. After our conversation, I realized their words were sincere and their honesty concerning their situation was heartfelt. Their hope for a better life after this crisis passes was truly inspirational. At the end of the conversation I was left thinking that I probably needed that call more than they did. Their words reminded me how we are all the same in God’s eyes no matter our past. How every one of us has our faith and fears, dreams and doubts, and live with our fond memories as well as our past mistakes. But above all else, why so many of us are proud to call this community home.

During this crisis we should try looking in the mirror more and out the front window less, before we say or do something, which ironically has more of an impact on us, than those we judge. Try to understand none of us can change our past, but we can play a role in our desired future and the future of others as well.

This temporary “pause” in our lives presents an abundance of opportunities. Opportunities for you and I to examine our priorities, look at each other through a different lens, appreciate the moments that often seem mundane. And maybe most of all, realize how our life plans do not always coincide with the “master” plan.

God bless us all.

Chris Chamberlain