Give me a word today, to say to others around me. Give me a word of gratitude, to share with the paramedics and firefighters and law officers, doctors and nurses and technicians, care-givers and grocery store employees and pharmacists, delivery drivers and restaurant takeout waitstaff and sanitation workers… all those people whose contact with the public cannot be eliminated because we depend on them.

Give me a word of encouragement, for those who are weary and tired, who are afraid and anxious about the future. To the parents at home juggling work, and those who no longer have work that gives them a paycheck, to those whose jobs are now overwhelming, and those who sit at home feeling useless with little to contribute. To business owners and civic leaders who feel the weight of the lives of others on their shoulders. To my colleagues on our staff, who are scrambling to figure out how to do what we do in a whole new way.

Give me a word of love, to share with the lonely and sad, the isolated and empty, those who feel nobody cares. To my wife, with whom I walk this strange road, and to my family, whose presence I dearly miss. To my friends, whose love and care I too often take for granted.

Give me a word of hope to the sick and their families, to the unemployed and their loved ones, even to the dying, that God is always a God who heals, even if in the way only God can heal.

Give me a word, today, God. Like Simon Peter, I turn to you: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) Give me a word to share with those who need to hear your word of life.

Amen. and Amen.