I’m learning that, now more than ever, optimism, hope and prayer are muscles. And if you don’t use them, they will atrophy. Today during a run in my neighborhood, a woman drove up beside me to ask if I’d seen her dogs. They’d dug out out of the yard and escaped, so she was searching for them. I took her number, the dogs’ names and descriptions and offered to help. As she drove away, I hesitated before offering up a silent prayer. In light of the suffering in the world, it seemed like somewhat of a trivial thing to pray about. But as someone who has lost a pet during this pandemic – arguably the worst possible timing, I did it anyway. Ten minutes later the woman drove back by. This time she was looking for me to tell me her dogs were back home, safe and sound. As she drove away, I stood on the sidewalk and cried. Cried for what my family has lost, cried for what their family found, cried from the place of vulnerability that is exposed when you ask for help and have hope. Cried because God really is good. All the time.