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Calm Amidst the Chaos

All of us are feeling the effects of being physically separated from one another, but there are many ways in which we can still support and care for those we love. I’ve dedicated myself to sending one card each day to one of our church’s shut-ins as well as using social media to connect with family and friends. I hope you’re finding ways of continuing to care for each other!

“The virus of kindness spreads just as quickly as the virus of fear.” – Keith Giles (from article below)

Let’s Walk Through This Together

 APRIL 2, 2020 BY KEITH GILES

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that I need other people.

Human beings were created for community. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, the fact is you need people in your life to grow, learn, heal and thrive as a human being.

None of us will ever survive alone.

This is why solitary confinement is considered an effective form of torture. Because no matter who you are, you were created to experience human connections.

So, even though we’re all practicing our social distancing, and staying 6 feet apart from one another in public spaces, and confining ourselves to our homes to avoid spreading the deadly Coronavirus, we still really need to find ways to connect with one another.

One incredible gift we can all appreciate is the miracle of the internet and social media. Without it, we’d probably all be losing our minds.

But, thanks to technology like YouTube, and Zoom, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, we have access to other human beings.

We also have amazing opportunities to bring hope and healing to one another during this uncertain season. I’ve been so blessed to see musicians like Michael StipeDavid Bazan and Derek Webb and Chris Taylor [and many others], performing virtual concerts for their fans on Facebook and YouTube and Twitch.

I’ve been encouraged to watch FB Live videos from people like Leyna NguyenJohn LynchBrad JersakJason Elam, and several others who help us to remember what’s good about this quarantine and use the internet to spread some hope to people who are suffering right now.

Let’s remember, there are some people we know who struggle with anxiety and emotional stress on a regular basis. For them, getting through a regular Tuesday can be especially challenging. Just imagine how they’re wrestling to keep their heads above water with all the fear-based media that’s bombarding us from every angle.

It’s brutal, to say the least.

One thing I’ve been trying to do, as I’ve been inspired by these friends of mine, is to try to share hope and beauty in any way I can.

For example, just the other day as I was taking a walk around my neighborhood, I came across this beautiful expression of hope:

It literally made me stop in my tracks and smile. And it honestly made me want to go back home and start chalking something beautiful on the sidewalk outside my own house.

The virus of kindness spreads just as quickly as the virus of fear.

So, I’ve been recording daily “Second Cup with Keith” videos on Facebook Live to encourage people and bring some hope. I’ve been hosting Zoom Arts Night’s, like the Poetry Jam with poet Darrel Epp and musician Nicholas Depew, and a Lyrics Jam with musical artists like Steve Hindalong [the choir] and Chris Taylor [Love Coma] to talk about lyrics and music and art together. I’ve set up interviews to have encouraging conversations with guys I admire like Brant Hansen, and Andre Rabe, I’ve even pulled out my guitar to sing a few original songs and share them on Facebook to help us forget the fear and focus on the positive as much as possible.

So, I know some of these things are just distractions from the pain, others are ways we can stay busy and cope right now, and still others are just practical attempts to bless people as much as we possibly can, and you know what? We need all of this, and more!

I guess I’m sharing all of these things as examples of what good can come out of this season we’re all stuck in right now, and I also hope to inspire some of you to reach out to others using social media to make a human connection, lift someone’s spirits, bless someone as much as you can, give hope, share beauty, display your art, sing your songs, read some poetry and most of all, be someone’s reason for going through another day with a smile on their face and some hope in their heart.

We need one another right now. This is the only way we’re ever going to get through it, to be honest. One day at a time, one step at a time, and one person at a time…this is how we come out the other side – together.

What have you been doing to brighten someone’s day? In what ways are you staying connected? How are you using your gifts and talents and resources to provide hope to those around you who lack it the most?

I’d love to hear! Share in the comments below.

And whatever you do, don’t give up. We will get through this thing. One day it will all be in our rear view mirror. And hopefully what we will appreciate the most at that time will be all the beautiful ways we came together to lift one another up and carry our brothers and sisters across the finish line.

Stay safe. Be well. Let your light shine.

Peace,

Keith

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