Sanitizers and Sanity

I heard a ‘good news’ story from a Family of Christ family, Dave and Jennifer Tepley and their son Chad.  Apparently, Chad’s good friend, Dan Oskey, runs the Tattersall Distillery which has begun mass-producing hand sanitizer.  Normally Tattersall, in Northeast Minneapolis, distills a variety of high-end spirits and liqueurs, and they run a popular cocktail room.  But they’ve closed due to Covid-19, except for the effort they are now making to produce their own unique brand of hand sanitizer for homeless shelters, medical facilities, and essential businesses (a campaign they are calling “All Hands”). They have made eight thousand gallons so far!  They recently trucked a delivery of boxes of the sanitizer over to a homeless shelter where that shelter’s manager warily asked how much this was going to cost.  He burst into tears as he was informed the product was being given away for free as part of the “All Hands” campaign.  Jennifer let me know she’s hoping to volunteer as a delivery gal.   

We all are in desperate need of these good news stories right now, aren’t we?  It helps provide a balance to the daily grim news that we’re digesting, along with the dire predictions of what’s ahead for our nation, and our world.  Another one I heard was that Mall of America, even with all its stores shuttered and closed right now, will be opening to host a gigantic blood drive on April 7-8, and 17-18 through the American Red Cross.  They’ll set up in the North Atrium and provide plenty of social distancing while they work with donors.  That is a terrific use of one of our great spaces here in the cities, and possibly you may want to sign up.  

Another story was of thousands and thousands of medical workers, from retired doctors and nurses to recently graduated med students, heading to New York City to help bolster the overworked and mightily-stressed medical personnel there.  Or, on a more humorous note, there’s the story of John Krasinski (from the TV show “The Office”) who recently launched a YouTube Channel called “Some Good News” to provide some levity, humor, and feel-good stories.  He set up a space in his house to look like a TV news desk, and his daughter even made the poster that hangs on the wall behind him.  One of his interviews was with his old pal, Steve Carell, and it was a lot of fun to see them reunite.  

Now, it might seem that these kinds of good news stories simply serve to distract us from the more difficult news of each day.  But I think they’re actually providing a more important function to us in these extreme times.  We do still need to hear the news of the day, and to be aware of what’s happening, and be drawn into prayer for the great many people who are indeed suffering, working tirelessly, struggling, and even grieving.  But it will sure help if you also pay attention to all the good that is happening in this frightening time of Covid-19 shut downs. 

We’re all truly learning new things about ourselves, and about our families.  And we’re all figuring out how to act and behave, how to worship and work, how to learn, how to hope and stay strong, and yes, how to still help out wherever we can with whomever we can. Along with your daily intake of the ‘news-that’s-difficult-to-hear,’ be sure you are also enjoying a steady diet of those stories of the good that people are doing.  For there are many such stories.  And many such people are doing incredible things. 

Such stories help you keep your balance.  They help you focus on the helpers.  They help you think of ways you can be someone’s good news.  And they just plain help! I pray that you all continue to be well, and continue to stay strong.  And though I cannot see you in church soon, I sure do look forward to that day when we will! 

–Pastor Josh

Categories: Ponderings