Staring down our vulnerability hurts in the forgotten places.

Who knew the dial of these anxious times would suddenly be cranked up to 11?

How are you? Really?

Stretching today after my early morning run, my face brushed against burgeoning green clover. Wet dew. I inhaled musty early-spring earth. The return of spring’s delicate greens always reminds me of my grandmother. She immigrated from Ireland as a very young woman, and left behind most of her family, too sick and poor to make the journey.

Overcoming hardship is our American story. We’re descendants of hearty stock. Generations that endured oppression or famine or war.

Through the lens of history and dusty black and white photographs they look so strong and fearless. Could they have felt as we do now? Scared and trembling, but resolute; ready to rise to the challenge of the times?

We’re drawn to Living Room Conversations because we understand the power of being a loving presence in the face of fear. Because for us, “we’re all in this together” isn’t just a catchy phrase, but an ethos tattooed on our hearts.

We are healthcare workers and senior citizens. We may be immune-compromised, we may be healthy. We are care-takers and students and faithful and doubtful. We are strong, we may feel weak. But one thing’s for sure:

We are made for these times.

Through our conversations, we practice generous listening and gentle hospitality. We cultivate inner spaciousness that comforts and calms. We’re learning not to run from the waves of anxiety as they cascade through our bodies. We are beacons of light.

We are made for these times.

As we check on neighbors, wash our hands for the zillionth time, and grieve cancelled conferences, semesters, plans, let’s invoke the resiliency of generations past:

May our love overcome our fear.

May our uncertainty activate our compassion.

May physical distancing bring renewed vigor to our social connection.

May this crisis be our finest hour.

May we remember that we are made for these times.

May we be love in the time of Corona.

Shannon Mannon is the Founder of 3-Minute Storyteller, which invigorates communities and inspires social healing through storytelling. Most recently, she’s joined the Living Room Conversations team as the newsletter editor. Shannon lives in Phoenixville, PA where you can find her find her tinkering with a 1974 VW bus that she’s converted into a mobile storytelling unit with her husband and three children. She has a Lean Left bias.