I was listening to a podcast this week called “Unlocking Us” by Brené Brown. During the episode, Brené began to introduce a guest on the show. When she had shared that her guest was David Kessler, an expert on healing and loss, I nearly stopped listening to the podcast. “I’m not searching for help with healing and loss,” I thought. But as instant as the thought came to mind, Brené quickly shared that grief isn’t necessarily about losing someone, but losing something. My interest was instantly re-captured.
Mr. Kessler began to explain that we are all grieving the loss of the world we lived in prior to the COVID-19 global lockdown. Just like other losses, we didn’t know what we had until it was gone. The pandemic that has swept across the entire world disrupted our daily routines, eliminated face-to-face interaction with those we are closest to, and is now preventing weekly social and worship gatherings that many of us have.
Mr. Kessler then shared a parable of a man that entered a long dining room with a huge table full of food that looked and smelled amazing. With plenty of people seated at the table with long spoons—several feet long—to easily reach the food, the man observed their disappointment and frustration of being unable to bring the spoon to their mouths due to the long length of their utensils. As the man scanned the room, he observed that instead of everyone being happy that they were sitting at this massive table featuring so many delicious options, they were instead upset. This dining room was labeled hell.
Then the man went to enter an entirely different dining room with the exact same setup where everyone was incredibly happy, festive, and full of life. The only difference was that the people sitting at the table were feeding each other across the table. The man observed their facial expressions and noticed that everyone had facial expressions of happiness and contentment. They had learned to take care of each other. This dining room was labeled heaven.
During this historically unique time, it’s become quite clear that generosity in service is not an optional component of Walla Walla University. Now is the time I believe we need to pull together even more in order to serve and take care of one another. Now is the time to shine even brighter in our community even in the smallest of ways possible.
Last week, we hosted a conference call open to all of you, our strongest supporters, which brought in over 20 great ideas of ways we can still work together while living apart. We have set up a channel on Microsoft Teams for those interested in keeping the conversation alive about ways to serve. Our leadership team has started to highlight specific areas where some of your ideas can be implemented but we still need your help as we figure out how to do service from home. Take a look below to find some opportunities for engagement.
E. David Lopez
P.S. Are there project in your area that needs support? Let us know!