I just watched a funny video that has been viewed several million times in a short period of time.

That’s what they call “going viral.” One person views it, shares it, and the numbers of people who stop and look at it grow like crazy.

While the COVID-19 pandemic gives me reason to see the darker side of “going viral,” I also see and hear so many other “outbreaks” in our communities — acts of kindness we might not ordinarily stop and appreciate if we were going about our normal routines.

Because our routines have been upended, we can and should focus on those gestures.

Headed to my dad’s house to bring provisions and help with housework last Sunday afternoon, I stopped in the drive-through at the Tastee Freeze in Mount Carmel for a medium vanilla cone. I debated stopping in on the way because it was shortly after noon, and I didn’t want to get caught in a lunch drive-in line.

I was prepared to quickly pay and go, and didn’t listen well when the woman at the window waived away my payment. The driver of the van ahead of me paid for my treat, and it made my day.

The gesture is just one of many I’ve seen in recent weeks. Drive-by birthday greetings, hearts in windows, the hilarious “horse” lawn decoration off Brumfield Avenue in Princeton that pays tribute to essential workers.

It made me think about how we can be more intentionally viral about goodness as stay-at-home regulations are eventually eased.

There’s a run on face masks (let’s salute everyone who spent their home time sewing them!), because we’re probably all going to need to be wearing them in public for a while to come.

Let’s not forget to smile, even when the other people can’t see your smile behind the mask. It will show up in your eyes, and it’s important we come out from this more kind to one another.

My pastor often reminds us, “Love God, Love People!”

Let’s be intentionally viral about that!

Ephesians 4:32 — But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.

Titus 3:2 — And remind them to never tear down anyone with their words or quarrel, but instead be considerate, humble and courteous to everyone.

Luke 6:32 — Are you really showing true love by only loving those who love you back? Even those who don’t know God will do that.

2 Peter 1:5-7 — So devote yourself to lavishly supplementing your faith with goodness, and to goodness add understanding, and to understanding add the strength of self-control, and to self-control add patient endurance, and to patient endurance add godliness, and to godliness add mercy toward your brothers and sisters, and to mercy toward others add unending love.

Email Andrea Howe at ahowe@mtcarmelregister.com.

— Email Andrea Howe at ahowe@mtcarmelregister.com

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