I don't know about you, but quarantine has pushed me to the edge. I have difficulty remembering the time, the date, and whether or not my family has eaten this week. My children are distracted, my friends are losing hope, and it seems the confusion will never end. From one hour to the next, I'm re-calibrating my definition of normal. What is normal? Is the way my community moves forward through great difficulty OK? Are there changes that need to be made? Should I throw it all away and run naked through the city screaming?

Of course the answer is yes, yes and maybe. We are doing our best and we must lean in and grow. We learn together one day at a time. For all of the inconvenience, stress and general anxiety we encounter as a collective, eventually the distractions fall away and beauty emerges. In the past few months, I have noticed my children are tiny tech geniuses who make a way to virtually "see" their friends against the odds. We engage in meaningful conversations with them about race, hope, despair and what really matters in this life. Through pain we reach out to our neighbors to serve, give hope, support and sustain. Though we may fight like cats and dogs because we are passionate about this little life of ours, we still love each other.

Today I challenge you to see someone clearly. Listen to understand their challenges and lend a hand. This pandemic purgatory will end. Make decisions today so that when it does, we can look back with pride for what we accomplished in 2020. I used to sing a song with my dad years ago called, "Each One Reach One." The lyrics ring true today. We can change the world one heart at a time.

Be encouraged today. Give yourself grace. God created you just as you were meant to be and knew you would be right where you are at this very moment. He gave you everything you need to move forward. If greatness is loving our neighbors well, then today go and be you and be great.  

Allison Armstrong, Executive Director
Oh, and if you see me running naked through the streets of Austin screaming, hold your judgment. Hand me a robe for heaven's sake, and tell me it's all going to be OK.   



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