By MERLYN M. WINTERS

Encourage one another!

So often we hear the expression “These are trying times!” And we agree.

We are ‘being tried!’ Between COVID-19, the trauma of racism we see played out in society, and the political season we’re in, we are using up our stores of endurance. Or instinct is to run in the other direction. We would rather go back to the way things were. The question is: When were we ever able to go back to the way things were? The goodness of ‘those times’ always becomes a memory.

Paulding enjoys the benefit of being somewhat removed from where all the action is. Who don’t see mass hospitalizations; we don’t see the violence or shootings; we don’t feel pressured to join protest groups. People in other places do. Our ‘trying times’ are different.

We, in our own context however, can usher in a revolution of a different kind. We can meet all the challenges we face with humility and grace. Instead of picking up stones to throw, we can offer each other a nod of acceptance and peace. Instead of building walls of political dissent between ‘them’ v. ‘us’, we can ‘agree to disagree’ on the issues, but affirm people. Look at your own family. Are they all of one stripe? We were meant to cover the whole spectrum. We are the rainbow of God’s creation; a symbol of God’s desire to reconcile us to Him.

So, let us in our corner of the world, be the silent movement that stands for something the world seems short of: spiritual strength. God is never finished with us. Let’s curb the desire to enter into venomous political discussions. Let’s try to understand racism and the sins that we might have unwittingly committed. Let’s agree to follow the distancing protocols for the well-being of ‘the other.’ Let’s focus on seeking God’s forgiveness constantly. From this stance of humility we just might grow into the community that is understand ing and encouraging.

What a revolution that would be!