This week our community, along with the rest of the nation will celebrate God’s mercies with a spirit of Thanksgiving. This will be the second Thanksgiving season that we have observed since our community first began feeling the impact of COVID-19 in January of 2020.
Some would ask, with so many deaths, sicknesses, and a virus that is mutating and avoiding cures, what do we have to be thankful for?
Since January of 2020 there have been 31,954 people infected with the Corona Virus in Ouachita Parish. Of that number, 595 of our friends, neighbors have died.
Yet, even as we continually attend funerals and live under fear of this disease, we still should have a spirit of gratefulness.
We are thankful that our healthcare officials have given us a set of tools that help us combat the spread of this disease. Most notably, they have successfully helped us to understand the importance of the three Ws: Wear a mask, Watch your distance, and Wash your hands. A vaccine has been developed that won’t stop the spread of the disease, but can slow the death rate.
We are thankful for these initiatives.
We are also thankful for the small army of healthcare workers who have been on the front line fighting this pandemic under difficult and dangerous conditions.
We are thankful for essential workers who clock in every day to keep us going. These include our bus drivers, grocery store employees, waste collectors, firefighters, law enforcement officers, those who deliver our mail, and hundreds of other types.
We are thankful for our teachers who are working in person and remotely with a fervent commitment to our students. Under difficult conditions, they continue to try to bring out the best in them.
We are thankful for those in the public and private sector who are working 24 hours a day to learn all they can about this disease, and to develop better tests, new treatments as well as safe and effective vaccines.
Our list of reasons for thankfulness can extend into infinity.
We who have survived this pandemic, to this point, must never forget that in return for the grace that we have been granted should do what we can to make the community in which we live a better place.
Democrats and Publicans, right wings and left wings, may differ on the methodology of making our community better, but most share a desire to promote a better life for everyone.
We give thanks finally to our pastors, who keep pointing us to the ultimate source of our salvation as they point to 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
As we turn our faces to God this week and every week, we give thanks in anticipation of the day when God will forgive our sin and heal our land.