By Mike Gilland
It has been 12 years since Donald LaFontaine passed away. You may not recognize his name, but you would most assuredly know his voice. His was the definitive low, powerful baritone voice that filled the audio systems in movie theaters around the world. In his 68 years of life, he recorded countless numbers of movie trailers, most beginning with a phrase that went something like, “In a world filled with…”, or “In a city where…” That beginning phrase caught my attention this morning, not in the context of a movie, but in real life. Let me explain…
Said simply, we are all “living in a world…that has become…different.” In the matter of what seems to be mere days, our world – as we knew it – radically changed. Restaurant dining rooms are closed, a nightly curfew has been issued, and in the states of California, New York, and Illinois, a government order to stay indoors has been given to all residents.
In the very midst of this present crisis, we are not without hope. The Bible teaches us – even prepares us for – the inevitable reality of trials and tribulations. Peter warned us to “not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you…” (1 Peter 4:12 ESV). These difficult days, while unprecedented in our lifetimes, will pass in due time. But there is something marvelous going on – right in the middle of this trial – and my immediate family has been the recipient of this amazing gift.
We’ve been blessed with a visit from my in-laws. But soon after arriving, my father-in-law had to receive treatment at a local hospital. He ended up staying there several days, and after being discharged, he returned to our home with doctor’s orders to remain long enough to regain the needed strength before flying back home. That is when something happened that I wasn’t expecting. People from our church set up a plan for evening meals to be brought to our house, freeing us to focus on care for Cindy’s dad. This amazing act of kindness and generosity proved to be an unexpected blessing for my family.
One of the hallmark evidences of the love of God is the golden rule, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. We have all heard that phrase, but how great it is to experience it firsthand, especially in such a time as now.
I can hear it now. “In a world of trouble, with shortages of toilet paper in every store…”, there are people that still care, who are willing to take the time to think of another, to show them the love of God. We’re gonna make it. Hang in there, and stay healthy.
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.