June 30, 2020

“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:11

Every day on my drive to work, I pass a series of chalkboard signs on the side of the road that always have encouraging messages written on them.  I first noticed them during quarantine when I would go into work twice a week. The messages are displayed on both sides of the signs with colorful balloons attached. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading east or west; both lanes can read these uplifting messages. Every time I drove by during quarantine, there was a different message. The sign would read, “Hang in there” or “We will get through this together” or “Stay safe!”  I thought this was such a kind thing to do in the midst of all the fear and uncertainty we were dealing with.

Shortly after quarantine, the signs changed a little and began to read, “Love one another” and “Peace!”  Then there was one with the word “violence” that was circled with a cross going through it. I commend this anonymous person who is truly thinking of everyone without pressing their staunch beliefs or harsh opinions on anyone. They’re simply trying to convey messages of hope and love to all during an ambiguous time.

On my first day back to work, my heart was so sad for all the violence throughout our nation. As I finished praying, I looked down at my desk at my “Love Your Neighbor, No Exceptions” calendar and there was another inspirational message smiling at me. It was from Dr. Bob Long and it read, “In spite of all the meanness in the world, I still believe most people want to be kind.” It was exactly what I needed to read that morning.

In an ever-changing world, how can we love on one another and spread encouraging messages to all? How can we continue to find joy and peace in this new normal?

– Jamie Williamson, Edmond Campus Director of Administration