The world has turned a bit upside down. Despite attempts at normalcy, COVID-19 is front and center. Busy, popular hang outs are strangely quiet, families on walks make wide berth for passersby, and general traffic is much lighter than usual.
The good news, though, is that there is always good news. Charity in action is a constant. Signs of the goodness of others, and the ways humanity shows loving kindness appear daily.
One simple method of continual service is seen through the birth of the Pray Act Trust movement (see PrayActTrust.com or follow #PrayActTrust on social) begun by Denver’s local clergy leaders. Each day of April brings an opportunity to join in group prayer (via public conference call), perform an individual act of service, and show trust in God throughout the process. Examples of service range from doing yard work for a neighbor, calling someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, or even chalking the neighborhood sidewalk with messages of hope and optimism.
Pastor Del Phillips of The House Worship Center has taken the lead on the initiative. He reports, “Finding triumph in the midst of tragedy is not unfamiliar to people of faith. In moments of tragedy we discover what is inside of us. The present pandemic tragedy has disclosed we are all born from the same flesh and blood fabric when faced with a virus that ignores race, creed, or color. We have learned that people are willing to put themselves in harm’s way knowing there is no way to avoid the commitment they made to put others before themselves. This tragedy has produced evidence to prove when we want to work together, working together empowers us to Pray, Act, and to Trust God.”
Another quiet way that service has been provided is the recent arrival of 9,600 rolls of toilet paper. The most publicized staple to be missing from shelves, toilet paper has become the hallmark of preparedness in this pandemic. Blessedly, coordination between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Denver Mayor Hancock’s Faith Council helps alleviate the problem for high risk citizens in the Denver area. Local non-profit senior centers will now be able to provide basic toiletry needs for thousands of people.
Craig McIlroy, Director of Denver South Area Communication Council was on hand to help with a delivery of a busload of 100 boxes of toilet paper to a senior living center. Having also helped coordinate the arrival of large food orders to local food banks, he is being the goodness in action. Unheralded by most, but very much appreciated, these gracious acts of service are given without expectation of reciprocity. Of the experience McIlroy reports, “It’s been a heartwarming experience. The ability to do something that means so much to others was really special.”
Between the prayers, simple daily service, and the bus filled with toilet paper, all stories simply add to the illustration of living charity. While the COVID-19 case numbers grow, so does something else: people showing up with love. In spite of things turning upside down or backwards, facing towards the Savior continues to manifest in showing love for one another.