Dance Like Everybody’s Watching

Fred and Anne Rayner dance in their front yard

Despite the pandemic, economic downturn, etc., things are happening across the world that wouldn’t happen if these difficult times weren’t forcing them into existence. At first glance, the bright, happy things may seem small, but I have to disagree.

They show resilience. They show humanity’s craving for beauty. Connection. Generosity. Thoughtfulness. The making of memories. Enough small things like this, and maybe we can change the course of history.

During the pandemic, this Tennessee neighborhood began hosting a nightly, socially distant, neighborhood dance party. Four families along a Nashville street gather in their front yards every evening, blare their collaborated music playlist for everyone to hear, and dance it out. One older couple has obviously enjoyed the slow cheek-to-cheek moments that might not have occurred otherwise.

What goodness will we hold in our hearts? What goodness will we create? What goodness will come into being in the face of all this darkness?

Let’s be the good.

Young Boy Throws Senior Prom for His Nanny

When 7-year-old Curtis Rogers, realized that his nanny, Rachel Chapman, wouldn’t be able to attend her senior prom due to the pandemic, he took the matter into his own hands.

7-year-old boy throws backyard prom for his nanny

He provided her favorite foods, flowers, and sparkling grape juice, all while remaining socially distant. How’s that for a little hope in this world?

Let’s all cheer on the kindness and thoughtfulness we see in the children around us. Because this world needs a whole lot more of that!

Love Anyway

As I write this, there are fires burning in Minneapolis.

My eyes peruse the news sites, looking for signs of hope amidst all this humanity. Some days, it is dishearteningly challenging to find even one post to share. But I *know* there are hope-stories happening all across this globe. Because I see little things happening all around me, and I’m just in one small corner of the world. And hopefully, you see those stories happening around you, too.

Those stories don’t often make the news . . . we hold them in our hearts.

There is heartbreaking grief in this world which seems to be multiplying exponentially. It is too much to bear. We weren’t *made* to bear it all. But the social and news media scream it in our faces. So we think we must try to bear it somehow.

While trying to be informed people in this day and age, instead of merely consuming all of the frustration, confusion, and sheer horror of what we read on the internet, perhaps we should override the messages with a new one:

Don’t let your love grow cold.

Because you may not believe in God, or the Evil One, but who can deny that the evil in this world seems to literally want to swallow us all whole these days? Or am I the only one feeling this?

The evil *wants* to beat us down. It wants us to lose hope. It wants us to give in. It wants us to believe that it is winning. It wants us to believe that the evil is the white man. Or the black man. Or the people in politics. Or the journalists. Or the big corporations. Or the Facebook friend who debated an issue too far. Or the spouse who doesn’t love us the way we desire. Or the person wearing a mask. Or the person NOT wearing a mask.

Because evil is the greatest liar ever known to man. It wants us to believe that our enemy is the person right across from us.

No.

Do not let your love grow cold.

Because the enemy is much bigger than any one of us.

Our enemy is evil itself.

Don’t let your love grow cold.

The evil wants to suffocate the love out of each one of us. It wants us to become so overcome by its apparent power, that our hearts grow numb to one another.

It wants us to believe that the evil is the person across from us, instead of the enemy inside ourselves.

Don’t let your love grow cold.

Love pursues anyway.

Love believes the best about another.

Love doesn’t turn a blind eye, but speaks truth in love.

Love holds one another’s brokenness.

Love acts justly, but loves mercy.

Love walks humbly.

Don’t let your love grow cold.

Evil may have its day, but love will have its reckoning.

How will you fan love’s flame today?

High School Seniors Receive Private Fight Song Concert

When Plano Senior High School’s graduating senior band members were unable to hold their senior concert due to the pandemic, the school’s band director and associates would have none of it. They traveled 3 days, in the rain and sun, making stops at each of the 85 band members’ homes, in order to play the school’s fight song for each student. What a thoughtful trio, to go so far and to so much trouble to make sure their graduating seniors were given a proper adieu.

Michael Hernandez, Jason Lewis and Mark De Hertogh play for graduating band students.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/us/plano-high-school-band-staff-tour-graduating-seniors-trnd/index.html

Ballerinas Still Dance

32 ballerinas from all over the world collaborated to dance Saint-SaĆ«ns’, ‘The Swan,’ in an effort to raise money for financially-struggling dancers. Due to CV-19 closures, performers world-wide have lost the means to provide their basic necessities. Watch the video, be amazed. Fund a Swan.

The UK Blessing

Over 65 U.K. churches came together in an effort to sing a blessing over the men, women and children of their country.

UK churches banded together to sing a blessing over the UK

Historical Flour Mill Back in Production

I think one of the most amazing side effects of this pandemic has been to see the world pull out all its stops. We’ve seen novice seamstresses fight the PPE shortage by sewing homemade masks, celebrity chefs cooking meals for the needy, a husband/wife duo paving the way for mask sanitation and reusability, to this:

This beautiful mill, located in England’s southwest, has been on site for 1000 years! Despite the fact that the old mill has been a museum for the last 50 years, the mill’s supervisor addressed the U.K.’s pandemic-induced flour shortage for himself. Since opening the mill’s flour production again, volunteers have been working round the clock, milling 66 pounds of flour a day.

Sturminster Newton Mill sits on the River Stour.
Sturminster Newton Mill

Isn’t it beautiful? Perhaps because I adore making our own bread when I have the time (and can obtain yeast!), this particular story makes me a little giddy (nerdy, I know). A historical flour mill in production again? I would love a sack of that flour!

U.S. Military Band Honors Holocaust Survivor

In 1945, Abba Naor was 17 years old — the youngest holocaust survivor liberated at the Dachau concentration camp. The 75th anniversary of the liberation was intended to be celebrated at Dachau, alongside the U.S. army veterans which liberated the camp. Although the anniversary event was canceled due to the CV-19 pandemic, a U.S. military band still gathered to play the Israeli national anthem in honor of the survivor.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-forces-play-israeli-national-anthem-holocaust-survivor-75-n1195036

It’s Captain Tom’s 100th Birthday

Do you remember reading about Captain Tom? The 99-year-old man raising money for the UK’s NHS by walking in his garden every day following his hip replacement surgery? Well, today, is his birthday!

Far surpassing his goal of raising $1250 by his 100th birthday, he has raised over $37 million dollars!!!!

Captain Tom celebrates 100th Birthday and exceeds goal by $37 million dollars

https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/04/30/captain-tom-moore-birthday-100-uk-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/trending-video/

Happy 100th Birthday, Captain Tom!

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