HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Social distancing is giving some of us time to reflect on what's important in our lives, and perhaps look at people a little differently.
Church doors may have been closed for Sunday services, but that didn't stop Christians from celebrating Holy Week. Sometimes it just takes some painters tape and sidewalk chalk. With some help from their mom, two granddaughters shared a message with folks in their neighborhood wishing everyone a Happy Easter. 6-year-old Lola, and 10-year-old Avery, created some Easter artwork on their fence at home too. They’re students at Priceville Elementary.
One thing may be spreading quicker than the virus, kindness. Some people really are loving thy neighbor. You don't have to look far to find them either. Margaret Hill has been sitting at her sewing machine making masks. In just two weeks, she has sewn and given away more than 500 of them to medical workers, first responders and others for free.
Music is medicine, and we're seeing a healthy dose of that right now. Roque Haines walks the grounds of a Huntsville retirement community twice a week with his bagpipes, playing for the people who live at Redstone Village. Others, like Robin Key, are inspired to write and sing about those on the front line. His song, “Heroes Walk in the Rain,” honors those helping get us through this storm. Robin is the youth pastor at Cullman County's Mount Hope church.
We're also seeing others feed the soul of people. The Rock Family Worship Center firing up the grill and oven to make hot meals for members who are widowed, children in the foster care system.
The mission is to help those who need it most. Huntsville Dream Center Director Chris Mitchell added, “We're doing this because it's an opportunity for the church, which is the light of the world, to shine and to step forward instead of running away from a need.” The Rock served more than 4,000 grab and go meals to Madison County students in a week.
Wayne Jones started a month ago making soup, cornbread and banana bread to feed shut-ins in Hartselle. “We're all in this together,” he said, “One person, helping another. Next thing you know everybody joining together and it gets somewhere. I just wanna do my part.” It's the neighborly thing to do. “This man is truly a, he's just a good Samaritan,” a woman told us, “A good Christian person.”
Some businesses are also feeding heroes on the front lines. Old Black Bear Brewing and Breland Homes in Madison prepared and delivered more than 140 meals to health care workers and employees at Madison Hospital, part of the Huntsville Hospital system.
COVID-19 cancelled high school proms this year, but that didn't stop Geraldine High senior Hunter Norwood and his prom date from keeping their date. Hunter, born with Down syndrome, is living life to the fullest. Molly Bailey of Scottsboro has fought health battles before. The high school senior had brain cancer surgery 16 years ago. Islablue Photography captured their special prom night.
Hunter and Molly may have been socially isolated from their friends but are teaching us a powerful lesson. When we no longer have to practice social distancing, let's do better at including everyone, especially our friends with special needs.