I spent the last two days in Portland, Oregon and I could hardly believe what I found. Yes there’s graffiti on almost every overpass and homeless tents line the roadsides…but I found so much kindness there. From Daniel who went above and beyond when my rig broke down, to Rondeja the sweet young woman who gave me a Lyft ride to the airport so I could pick up my rental car. She moved to Portland in 2020 and absolutely loves it. She didn’t know the Portland we knew, but loves it anyway for all that it still has to offer. She has fresh eyes and sees its beauty and potential. We took a selfie and she drove away.

Then there way the girl at the rental car desk. The lady before me gave her a California Starbucks Insulated water tank to match her Oregon one. She was so touched by the lady’s kindness…it was great to witness, and her joy overflowed into my experience with her. Then there was the young man from Rwanda who checked over my ID before I drove away with their car. He asked me what I did for living and I told him I was a community development consultant and he asked if I thought he could be one. We dove into a 10-minute conversation about that, and I told he could also be a grant writer. He asked if he had to go to college to become either one…I said no. We took a selfie…of course…he went back to reading the Bible he had open on his desk and I drove away. Blessed by the meeting.

The list goes on to hotel workers, medical workers, fast food workers, to the man who lost his home and was trading grapes for cash at the entrance to Multnomah Falls…he’d lost his home, now humbled to asking for help from complete strangers.

I believe the pandemic really did change us, and I know this doesn’t pertain to everyone, but I think we’re softer….in a good way. I think everyone is so happy to have the last years and the fear that gripped so many, behind us and it has brought a kindness to us. Many restaurants and fast-food places are slower to get the orders out because of staff shortages, but I see patience among the “waiters” there. It’s like people are trying to understand what others are going through. Even though my day was unexpected and not especially positive in a vehicle sort of way, and once again my day was blessed by all the people God put in my path. I hope this is encouraging to those that might need to recognize the good that has come out of the pandemic. I know, I really know there was a whole lot of awful, and I would not want to repeat it, but there was good, and I believe there is better coming. God always, always, always follows misery with goodness. I am looking forward to the good that comes behind the nightmare Ukraine is facing right now. That is a whole lot of evil right there, but I believe goodness is already there and the entire world is witnessing the pure evil as well as the good that is coming from around the world that is coming against that evilness. I look forward to seeing the Ukrainian people thriving again soon. I hope you all have a blessed day and thanks for reading about my thoughts.


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