What a journey we all have been on recently.

For my wife and I, that journey has included moving away from all we’ve known in the Pacific Northwest to a much different place: Austin, Texas. It has been the beginning of some hurdles and adventures in our creating a new “norm.”

We bought a home. We began searching for ways to become a part of our new community. And then… Covid-19 happened.

Nothing we’ve ever known compares to the impact this virus has had on how we live, work, and connect with one another. We are all in the midst of change. Some of it is good. Some is really hard.

Image of close-up of kindness entry in dictionary

May kindness define us.

Since Covid-19’s restrictions, some people would say they’ve found a new appreciation for being home with family and communing together. Some might acknowledge they were at a breaking point prior to being forced to “slow down.” Covid has brought them a chance for life-change.

But, for those who don’t have family relationships, who are living on the streets or in shelters, Covid has been squeezing them even tighter. They were already enduring great challenges. For them, transitioning toward life-change and restoration are yet more difficult.

Maintaining relationships isn’t easy for any of us, either. Because of our move to Austin, I’ve lost my weekly coffee visits with a good friend, the tee-off times and fishing excursions with buddies, and in-person visits with family.

I have faced depression and wondered—dare I say even questioned—what God is doing in this new season of my life.

But, I’ve also experienced God as a faithful Comforter, Provider, and Encourager. He has cared for me through family and friends despite the many, many miles between us.

I have become so much more aware that we have all been created for relationship. God uses us to encourage, build-up, and care for one another! Before, I used to walk or drive by someone who might need just one kind word, a wave, or a smile.

We are all created in God’s image. It does not matter what the color of our skin is, the amount or lack of money in our pockets, or the languages we speak. Each person you see is—in essence—a brother or sister that may be hurting, lonely, or in need.

During this time of Covid-19, how can you care for someone in need?

It may be through providing water, food, or clothing to the homeless community. It may be just stopping to ask someone how they are.

Take the time to really see them and ask yourself, “What would I need?” Then, do it.

If you are a follower of Jesus, reflect on what it means to be created in God’s image, to bear His character, and to be co-workers with Him.

At Omega, we have found that one small gesture or encouraging word acts as a powerful catalyst for life-change. Over these last 12 months, I can personally attest to observing and experiencing that power.

Chuck Gatewood
OEB Board Member