Remember YInMn blue? YInMn stands for Yttrium, Indium, Manganese, which are chemical symbols from the Periodic Table of the Elements. Yttrium, as you’ll remember, has the atomic number 39 and is named after Ytterby, the village in Sweden where it was discovered. Indium, on the other hand, has the atomic number 49 and is named after indigo, the color that shows up when Indium is analyzed by people who know things. Finally, and last but not least, Manganese has the atomic number 25 (Here’s a trick for remembering these atomic numbers: 25 + 39 = 64; take away 15 and you have 49. You’re welcome!) and was named by the physician who was the superintendent of the Vatican Botanical Garden. Which I bet you didn’t even know there was a Vatican Botanical Garden.
I bring this up because I’d like you to take a few moments to look up YInMn blue, which is sometimes called Oregon Blue because it was discovered (by accident) by a professor and his grad student at Oregon State University in Corvallis. In 2009, which made YInMn blue the first inorganic (meaning not organic, for which you’re again welcome) pigment to have been discovered in over 200 years. The reason I’m suggesting that you look up YInMn blue online is that it’s beautiful. And when you look it up, don’t just glance at it. Look at it for TEN FULL SECONDS. And then see if you don’t feel better.
Occasionally these days I’m feeling that things are out of control. Have you felt that way at all? No? OK. I guess it’s just me then. Anyway, there is in fact a good deal that we can control. We can wash our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. We can scratch the dog behind his ears. We can be polite at the Safeway. We can share. We can be encouraging. We can pray. We can breathe. We can go for a walk and say “good morning” (at a distance) to someone we DON’T EVEN KNOW. We can find ways to be helpful. We can refuse to act as if this is the apocalypse, because it’s not. Times may be hard, but we can work to make them less hard for one another. In Christ.
“Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14) And remember that you are loved.