Trillia Newbell – Hardship and opportunity

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, March 23rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Within each hardship is opportunity. WORLD commentator Trillia Newbell sees it first hand.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: The other day Twitter user Gayle Clarke shared a sweet story. Quoting now—“[A]n adorable neighbor knocked on my door, stepped back a few feet and shouted, ‘elderly neighbor, are you okay? Just wanted to check on you.’ He was all of 7 years old… doing what he could.”

Many responded to her celebrating the cuteness of it and chiming in with laughing emojis. It is cute. And it’s funny, too. But at the heart of this young child’s actions was a boy understanding the gravity of the situation and trying to help. 

It can be easy to focus on the devastation we’re seeing. There is much to lament. But there are also glimpses of God’s common grace all around us. People are sacrificing their time, money, and other resources in an effort to ease suffering and serve others. 

For example, last weekend churches around the globe shut their doors for the foreseeable future. Pastors took to live streaming sermons while church members gathered in their homes to watch. 

One pastor saw an opportunity to serve his fellow pastors in his city. Dean Inserra of City Church in Tallahassee offered to assist pastors who do not have the resources to film or post online. His church hosted slots for pastors to record sermons.

Since COVID-19 puts those 65 and above at risk the most, many have volunteered to pick up groceries for their older neighbors. My neighborhood association has gathered volunteers to serve our most vulnerable neighbors. 

And some with the greatest financial means are taking it a step further. Country music star, Brad Paisley and his actor/wife Kimberley Williams-Paisley opened up a free grocery store and will be delivering groceries to the elderly in Nashville. 

And what about all of those canceled sports? They leave some of us longing for a big game—but they also leave many out of work. From stadium vendors to janitorial staff, people went from a predictable income to nothing. 

Well, some NBA players saw this as an opportunity to step up and use their multi-million dollar salaries for good. The first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus didn’t take it seriously before his result. But Utah Jazz all-star Rudy Gobert has since donated $500,000 to part-time workers at the team’s arena in Salt Lake City. 

Other players have joined him. Rookie Zion Williamson volunteered to cover the salaries of every worker at Smoothie King Center, the arena where his New Orleans Pelicans play. He’s only 19 years old!  

There have been many acts of kindness all around the world as we come together in spirit. As Christians, we get to put that great commandment to love our neighbor into action. 

And for many of us, the greatest way we can show love to one another may be to comply with the government’s recommendation to social-distance. We may not be able to give time or money—but we can all play a part in loving our neighbor. 

Who would have ever thought physically staying away would be an act of love? Today it is. 

I’m Trillia Newbell. 

(AP Photo/Matt York) Josh Kellso, a pastor at Grace Bible Church, delivers a sermon via live steam for virtual attenders from an empty sanctuary Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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