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Two stories encouraged me this week — the school employees who took one day’s pay cut to save the jobs of 7 colleagues; and, a politician’s wife who offered a house rent-free to a homeless woman and her family.

In this increasingly difficult economy maybe we are a nation that will begin to look out for each other, again.  Maybe we were waiting for our national leaders to call forth the best in us during these worst of times.  Maybe we will rise to the occasion, filling in the gaps where government has no business and even if it has business, cannot connect as one human being to another.

Chene Thompson, wife of state representative Nicholas Thompson and the woman who opened her house rent-free, put it this way —

“You don’t have to be a politician to put forth a stimulus package,” Chene Thompson said during a joint interview with Hughes Thursday on CNN’s “American Morning.” “This is our own little mini-stimulus package for a person who was a stranger and now is a friend.

“Anybody can help anybody at any time. It doesn’t need to be something that comes from Washington; it can come from your own home and from your heart, even if it’s for a little bit.”

From your heart. Perhaps if our nation can once again live its shared existence from our hearts, and not from our wallets, there is hope.  This economic recovery is, after all, more about recovering a way of life than about recovering a life of wealth.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Matthew 6:21