Welcome to Daily SPARC – each weekday our chaplains, friends from the Penn Religious Communities Council and other voices from campus will be posting messages of support and encouragement.

Today’s message by Greg Mitchell at Penn Cru:

2 Things I’ve Lost, 2 Things I’ve Gained: Reflections of a grad student in quarantine



I’ve lost my normal rhythms in life, now replaced by an ambiguous amalgam of existence. The loss feels disorienting and exhausting.

Sense of Control.

I’ve lost the illusion that I control my circumstances. The feeling that I am the master of my time, health and bank account, has vanished.


Awareness of my Smallness.

I’ve gained a deeper awareness of what it means to be human. There’s a surprising freedom to feel small and dependent when you know someone surpassingly dependable.

Appreciation for Helpers.

I’ve gained a gripping appreciation for the shoulders I stand on: medical professionals, world leaders, grocery clerks. Most emphatically, I feel a gripping appreciation for Jesus, who offers his shoulders of forgiveness, sustenance, and direction that leads me from this life to the next.

Titus 3:4-7

John 3:17

1 Timothy 1:15

If you created a lost/gained list, what would your top two be?