The mayor in our university town moved early to put a shelter in place ordinance into effect. I’m sure there are many reasons for that, but one of the biggest had to be to clear the bars downtown where people were continuing to congregate. Because of that, we have been under quarantine longer than most but also because of that our cases still remain relatively low compared to other towns our size. Hopefully, we can hold steady so that our medical community is not overtaxed.
I’ve been thinking of all the people who help me every day to stay put. Jerry and I both have underlying issues so we cannot venture out.
So, here is my gratitude list in no particular order. I’m thankful for:
1. Our medical workers who are on the line day after day risking exposure. We‘ve heard it repeatedly that they are our heroes, but I’m saying it again. You are my hero. A thousand thank you’s. Praying this virus lifts soon, so you can all be with your families as in times past.
2. Parents raised in the heart of the Great Depression who also lived through WWII. They taught me the value of “making do” as my mother used to say. If we don’t have one thing, we find a way to make do with something else. I’m thankful mom began teaching me to sew when I was six so I know how to make these protective masks. And my dad passed on his knowledge of many things. I’ve thought of my parents often in these days and really miss them, but I know they have given me much to prepare me for this time.
3. The Upper Room Magazine, in which the devotions seemed to have been written especially for these days but I know they were penned more than two years ago. So amazing how on point they are.
4. People who bring my groceries out to the car from the stores and who try to make substitutions that I can live with even though sometimes there isn’t much to choose from. Hats off to all of you and the Instacart shoppers who are so overwhelmed but keep going. Thank you to the stockers, cashiers, and others who keep our food supply going.
5. The folks who own a local drug store who have helped me mail so many masks to healthcare workers. I can’t go into the regular post office and I don’t know what I would do without them doing curbside from their little post office in the store.
6. Beautiful spring weather, which is a balm to my soul. To those at the state botanical gardens pictured above who keep it open and we can avail ourselves of its healing beauty.
7. The many church services that are offered online. We have opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of so many pastors in these days. Pastors, we are praying for you that God would give you the words that need to be spoken to comfort, heal, and encourage.
8. Newscasters who have a cheerful countenance.
9. My mailperson who never misses a day.
10. My heart overflows with this one―that my family is safe and no one has contracted this virus. Many prayers for those who have beloved ones who are ill or who have passed.
11. My church family that is continuing to stay in touch with each other during this time. Even though we miss each other so much, everyone is trying to do the right thing.
12. Those with artistic, musical, comedic, literary, and other gifts who are sharing those blessings online. It’s huge. It reminds us of why God created such a beautiful world because our souls can’t live in black and white.
13. All those delivery people who are bringing necessary items to my doorstep. You are amazing.
14. People like my son who work for insurance companies who try hard to make sure claims are processed. Feeling for those folks suffering from these storms in the South but I know behind the scenes there are those doing everything they can to help.
15. Dedicated people who work in animal shelters and rescue organizations. Hey, if you’ve ever considered adopting a pet, this would be a great time. Zoo keepers who are quarantined with the animals.
16. Teachers who have had a steep learning curve themselves to continue teaching students online in elementary, middle and high schools. Thank you. I think when this coronacation is over, you are going to be given the respect you have long deserved. I homeschooled for eight years. I ought to know.
17. Though we aren’t driving much, we still need gas, so thanks to the gas station workers.
18. All of you who are in essential businesses, we want to make sure that we don’t take you for granted. You food-manufacturing workers, protective medical gear producers, pharmaceutical company employees, warehouse workers, pet food manufacturers, and someone has to be making the fabric for these masks I’m making. So many are keeping the wheels turning so that our needs are met.
19. Farmers. You’re facing tough times with much of your market gone in the restaurant business, and so few to harvest the crops. We’re praying for creative solutions to avoid your harvests languishing in the fields. You are so important to us.
20. Restaurant owners and employees who offer drive through and curbside. I know it’s tough to pivot to a new model in such a short time. We’re praying your businesses make it though this tough time. We sure miss dining in.
21. Truckers and Railroad workers. What can we say? You’re rolling night and day across this country to bring us essential products. We want to give you all a great big hug.
22. Utility workers who keep our lights on, our heat, and air working. Bless you especially with the power outages from these storms that are keeping you working long hours.
23. Electricians and plumbers who are still going out to keep our homes comfortable.
24. Sanitation workers who keep coming without fail and who are doing a tough job in a tough time. You are a huge blessing. And we pray for all those who work in water filtration plants. Your job is central to our lives.
25. All of the drugstore pharmacists, and employees who provide critical medicines for us. I know you are often at risk. We are grateful for your sacrifice.
26. Our military, especially the National Guard who is coming in to help do jobs that they probably were not trained for but are needed in this time. Thank you for your service.
27. All of those who are working in nonprofits to help feed those who lack resources. We’re praying you continue to have the resources to do what you need to do. You are so appreciated.
28. Celebrities who set an example by folding their own clothes, appearing just like we are in the confines of their homes, and who are using their resources to help in this Pandemic. We’re taking note of who you are and when you’re working again, we sure want to support you.
29. To all the 2020 seniors of which my grandson is one. In the middle of this incredible disappointment, thank you for holding strong and rising above this. You are an amazing bunch, and I believe God has mighty things for you. We love you so much.
30. Our governmental leaders who are bearing a huge load right now and having to make decisions based on incomplete information because there’s so much we don’t know. We are praying God’s wisdom for you as well as strength for the days ahead.
31. Researchers who are searching for cures, vaccines, and treatments. We pray that God would give you his mind as you do this work.
32. For all those we don’t even know about who are carrying out jobs essential to our livelihood.
Thanking thirty-two is not enough. Not nearly enough. There's so many more. There are our police, sheriff's departments, fire fighters who every day put themselves at risk and now even more so.
When my children were little, we used to drive around singing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole wide world in his hands. . .” Then we would personalize it. We’d put in the names of friends and family. I have a little globe on my desk and in these days, I pick it up and sing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands . . .” and I personalize it with the people and places so affected by this virus.
Above everyone else, I want to thank God that none of this caught him by surprise. He is still on the throne, and He still has the whole world in His hands. As the Psalmist wrote, “My times are in your hands . . .” (Psalm 31:15). We are so grateful because God’s hands are big enough for all of this. Let’s be hopeful and remember to thank someone who’s working on our behalf today.